Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Wednesday 13th. February 2013

Firstly , a catch up on yesterday , when I with other SHG members , went to help prepare a hedge that could only be described as 'out of control' , that will be the last hedge to be layed this season , just off the Hogsback at Tongham , Surrey . Just before reaching the site , I came across another worming Common Buzzard that flew up onto a fence post as I slowed down . Needless to say , as I tried to reach for the camera , it flew off , with it's worm still dangling from it's bill . I replaced the camera and was about to pull away , when a Weasel ran across the entrance drive of the adjacent house . I carried on to the hedge wondering if my plan to try for the Great Grey Shrike that has been wintering on Thursley Common , if the work was finished in time of course , was worthwhile . That happened shortly after 1300 , and although the weather was dull with the odd snowflake , I decided to go for it , arriving at the Moat car park some 20 minutes later . Heading out across the Common , it was a case of trying to keep the feet dry as most tarcks were flooded , so unlike the dry sandy ones during the Summer when the dragonflies are about . At one time I had to turn around and find a different way as I just couldn't get through the flood . Eventually I managed to get to the area that the Shrike had been seen in and spent nearly two hours searching , to no avail . In fact I saw very little in those two hours , just four birds and another two when I got back to the car park . The light level had been dropping all through the time on site , so if the Shrike had appeared , I probably wouldn't have been able to get a shot of it anyway , but it would have been nice to have got a sighting , perhaps next time .
This morning my first stop was at the horse field , and in poor conditions again , found the juvenile Common Buzzard still working hard for it's worms . I took a few shots , the one I liked best was as it
returned to one of the fence post after wrestling with it's last meal , just a shame it was in sunshine . From there I headed for Kelsey Park in Beckenham , finding it much colder there , with a chilly wind blowing through the park . The first side of the lake didn't produce much more than a
BHGull that was already living up to it's name , the remainder of the species still sporting their spots . As I passed the heronry , at least two bird could be seen tucked down in their nests . Beyond the waterfall , the waterbirds looked hungry , approaching every person who passed by , and this Carrion
Crow , normally very timid , didn't fly off on my approach , just standing it's ground and calling . Not
everyone was interested in food though , as I passed this Cormorant , I'm sure I heard the odd snore . Heading back on the other side of the lake , at least another two nests had birds snuggled down , and
there were probably more that I could not see . I had been on the lookout for the Blue-crowned Parakeets on my way around , but only the more numerous RRParakeets were seen , may of which were in pairs , looking for potential nest holes . This pair of Jackdaws had the same intention , but
with several pairs of Parakeets looking in the same London Plane tree , they might well have a fight on their hands for possesion . On the lawn near the bridge at the start of the lake , an old friend 'Angel
wings' seems to have made it through another year , the affliction being caused by being fed white bread , and now unable to fly . A rather drab visit , but made more colourful by three Mandarins in
The Beck , where it enters the park .
Work day up on the local Common tomorrow , weather permitting .


Warren Baker said...

It really is hard going out there Greenie, what with all the mud, water and the gloomy conditions. Summer is going to feel like paradise this year :-)

Phil said...

Warren's right Greenie,Summer will feel like paradise....providing we get one. My back garden at Larkfield is like a sodden (sodding) sponge.
Nice post by the way. I think you'll miss that Buzzard when it runs out of worms and buzzes off.