Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday 28th.October 2012

A really miserable week weather-wise gave very few opportunities to get out , and with work parties on the Common and hedgelaying both in full swing , even less opportunities presented themselves .Only saving grace was not getting soaked on either of the above . I did manage a short visit to Kelsey Park in Beckenham , and even though it is almost November , the two juvenile Grey
 Herons posted on my last visit , are still in their nest , waiting for the next meal to arrive . No sign of the Grey Wagtails this visit and the Mandarins were tucked away under their favourite overhanging bushes . The only other interest were two Egyptian Geese that were feeding on the lawns . The books

say that male and female are identical , but I'm reasonably sure that from their calls , this is the male , with the normal darkish neck and eye patch , 

but what I'm reasonably sure was the female of the pair , showed only a shadow of the dark eye patch and much lighter colouration on the neck and head . Of interest , had this been a juvenile , legs and bill would be yellowish grey .

Apart from those , the only other interest was a Grey Squirrel , one of many who try to 'mug' you for
food whilst you walk around the park , but this time , perhaps on a health kick , feeding on ripe Yew berries .
The weather seems to be ideal for fungi , but that doesn't mean that there are lots to see , especially around Hayes and Keston Commons , where I saw three 'oriental' people , hoovering up everything that they found , which reminds me to keep away from any Chinese take-aways . A few species managed to avoid their hands , and made it to the viewfinder .
Spotted Tough-Shank / Collybia maculata ,
Sulphur Tuft / Hypholoma fasciculare .
Earthstar / Geastrum triplex .
and the fruiting bodies of Green Wood-Cup / Chlorosplenium aeruginascens .
A visit to South Norwood Country Park in misty conditions was not very productive , but I did meet another birder who was there the day before , and had a Short-eared Owl appear out of the mist , chased by local Corvids , then disappear back into the mist again . Sadly , it wasn't around for my visit .
This morning I visited Hayes Farm , but apart from a few small Redwing flocks and my first Fieldfare of the Winter , albeit at a great distance in one of the horse fields . The Trout Fishery
produced nothing better than a pair of Little Grebe and a single , sad looking Mute Swan . Heading back towards the car I found a Green Woodpecker and three Mistle Thrush , and whilst watching them , heard Rose -ringed Parakeets squawking beyond the Trout Fishery . They and several of the
local Corvids were chasing a raptor , but in the gloom , I couldn't identify it . The chase disappeared
from view behind a large Oak , reappearing on the other side , where I got the closest shot . Even on the computer I couldn't get much detail , but decided it was a male Marsh Harrier , but as usual ,  stand to be corrected . It flew across the field that is used for boot sales , and landed in an Oak , which I hurried towards , only to see it chased off again by Corvids to the far corner , then into a private field beyond , where I lost sight of it . Still , a good record for LB Bromley . A single Skylark and a mixed Finch flock were found back near the car .
And finally ,  I found this very interesting article which answers the often asked question , ' what happens to the Painted Lady butterflies that migrate here in various numbers each year ?
No more perhaps or maybe , well worth a read .

If the link doesn't work , it's the first time I've tried this , just go to Butterfly Conservation and click on 'News' .


Neil Burt said...

I'll put my neck on the line and say Common Buzzard.

Alan Pavey said...

Some great pics Greenie, really like the Green Wood cups, not sure on the raptor the first pic looks quite Harrier like and the second more buzzard :-)

ShySongbird said...

Some lovely photos again Greenie and an informative and interesting read as always. I had already read the news about the Painted Lady and found it fascinating but yes, your link works perfectly :-)

Very nice Egyptian Goose photos, I have read the female is slightly smaller than the male and often has darker markings on the bill and that the female makes more of a trumpeting quack and the male more of a hissing sound....not that I would have a clue as I have only ever seen one on a couple of occasions!

I heard on the news yesterday that people picking mushrooms to sell to restaurants are causing all sorts of problems by clearing whole areas of forests of fungi :-(

Love the Grey Squirrel photo and yes, the swan did look rather dejected!

Phil said...

Had a Chinese takeaway at the weekend Greenie, but lived to tell the tale (It was very nice actually). A similar situation to the fungus picking problem arises at dungeness every year when the mackerel arrive,although strangely I've never seen it on the takeaway menus.
Very nice pics and entertaining words as usual.

Ken. said...

Nice bird of prey picture, I would say that it is a Common Buzzard going by the broad wings and the carpal patch's. It also seems to have dark trailing edges to it's wings, and barring below.
Nice fungi pictures, they certainly add colour to your days blog report.

alan woodcock said...

Hi,nice read,bird of prey,I would say a Common Buzzard.