Thursday, 20 December 2012

Thursday 20th. December 2012

Monday's sunshine at Dungeness seems a long time ago ,  having been replaced by grey , cold and now rain . I made a short visit to Kelsey Park in Beckenham on Tuesday afternoon , but like other places , it was very quiet . Tucked away amongst the overhanging vegetation , I found one of a pair of
Little Grebe , this one having surfaced with what looked like a fish , but was having some difficulty in swallowing the meal , but it did manage eventually . Down by the waterfall things were very
soporific , especially for this male Tufted Duck , but things were not so good for one of the females , who had managed to get a rubber band around her neck/bill . Fortunately , the band was not stopping
her from feeding , as when food appeared , she was in there battling with all the others , and winning some . Mandarins are still around in good numbers , but as usual , they were to be found on The Beck , at either end of the lake . Come to think of it , I do not remember seeing them ever on the main
lake , they favour the ares where there is overhanging vegetation and also parts of The Beck that
cannot be easily seen from the paths . This female seems to have already got her hair done for the festivities . On the island , many Grey Herons were already taking up residence in the nests , yet to be refurbished . On the way back to the car , someone had obviously passed through with monkey nuts ,
as several Grey Squirrels were tucking into their free meal .
Yesterday I made a visit to Sevenoaks Reserve , once again in overcast , gloomy conditions . I started
at Grebe Hide , and naturally enough found a Great Crested right in front . Hopes of a Winter visiting Grebe did not materialise , it's two years now since a Red-necked and Black-necked visited . Plenty of Geese about , but no sign of a Barnacle or White-fronted , the only stand out was the strange
whitish specimen that seems to turn up every Winter . Today it was out in the fields at the end of the East / Long Lake track . Two flocks of Siskins were found , one either side of the East Lake , the flock near Willow Hide was approaching 100 , the other just half that . One small Alder seemed to be
the tree that most wanted to feed on , about 25 in this shot that had to lightened from a silhouette . When I first arrived and looked out over the East Lake from the ramp , a Grey Heron flew off
calling . Out on one of the islands in front of Tyler Hide , at least 12 Common Snipe amongst the Lapwing and Teal . On my return it had retaken it's vantage point . Finally , a few fungi that caught my attention on the way round ,
Neobulgaria pura var. foliacea ,
Auricularia aurisula  / Jelly Ear , as usual on Elder , and
Corioluss versicolor / Many-zoned Polypore .


Warren Baker said...

Hi Greenie,
Good job were able to get out when you did, its atrocious out there now :-(

That rubber band on the Tufted Duck will probably rot away :-)

Tip for the photographing of silhouetted birds, is to set the exposure compensation up a bit - two thirds or even to '1'. Of course this will decrease the shutter speed, but you can up the ISO to compensate. ( sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs!)

ShySongbird said...

A shame to see another victim of man's carelessness but very glad to read it was eating and (reading Warren's comment) that it should rot away.

I particularly like the photos of the male Mandarin Duck and the Grey Squirrel, Mandarins still don't seem to have reached my immediate area. Lovely to see the Grey Heron too, one of my favourite birds.

You are doing your job well Greenie as I remembered the name of the Jelly Ear fungus (from your blog) before reading the caption :-)