Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sunday 9th. December 2012

Since finishing the berries on the Rowan tree , the Waxwing flock seems to have disappeared , with no reports locally of their where abouts and things have gone very quiet . I had a quick visit to Hayes Farm during the week , but found nothing of interest  . Yesterday morning I thought I would have another try for Brambling and got to Bough Beech early . It's strange visiting at this time of year and not finding Winter Thrushes in the orchard , but the cold , wet Spring put paid to pollination , so there is no fallen fruit to attract them . The main feeder in the orchard was busy , but once again no sign of Brambling , and I don't think I saw one last Winter either . When the sun appeared , I took up a position where I could watch the Kingfisher posts and also another small feeder . Needless to say ,
the feeder was much busier than the posts , with Blue , Great , Marsh and Coal Tits all visiting , but the last two making sure that they visited a port out of sight of the camera . There was also plenty of
activity below the feeder , clearing up the seed tossed away by the Coal Tit and the Goldfinches , which seemed to have favourites amongst the mixed seed . One particular Goldfinch was quite happy
to stay feeding with me standing 5 mtrs. away , unlike others that 'grabbed and flew' . The Kingfisher , like the Brambling failed to appear , but just beyond the posts , a Mute Swan spent quite

some time preening , making sure that every feather was in it's place . Eventually I got down to the causeway , to find that a lot of water had been pumped in from the River Eden since my last visit , meaning that there was no exposed mud on the North Lake , or at the causeway end of the main reservoir , the water already into the surrounding woods , and consequently not much to be seen close to the causeway . Plenty of GCGrebes and Coots out in the middle and Geese down the far end , and the only highlights were a brief glimpse of a redhead Goosander , way down the reservoir , just
before it too disappeared into the trees , and a drake Pintail , probably the one that was on the scrape previously , already in amongst the trees .
Today I did the Down House bird survey , recording just 13 species , but there was a raw NW wind blowing across the site . The visit did though afford a chance of a few Jay shots , one of two
recorded . The other one flew immediately , but this one stayed for a short time , but it would have
been better if the light had been better at the time . Only other interest found was the seed stalk of the most robust Violet Helleborine which is heavy with seeds and so far untouched by deer , so hopefully there will be more plants in years to come .
In our garden , the Callicarpa bush is getting bare of berries now , with both male and

female Blackcaps seen feeding several times through the day , but unfortunately when the berries finish , they will be off .


Warren Baker said...

Just 13 species found on your survey Greenie, that shows how poor it is out there :-(

It's much the same here - quite hard going at times!

ShySongbird said...

The Blackcaps are certainly enjoying your Callicarpa berries Greenie. The small flock of Waxwings that were seen here last week seem to have moved on and despite trying most days I never did find them!

Good to see the Jay, they stay well hidden when I am around. Lovely photos of the swans with reflections.

Alan Pavey said...

Really like the Swan shots Greenie :-)

Ken. said...

Good to see the Blackcaps are taking advantage of your berries.
Shame the Brambling never made a appearance at Bough Beech.
Nice Blackcap shots.