Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Wednesday 27th. February 2013

Another cold , drizzly morning , although not as bad as yesterday , so I headed off for a look around Kelsey Park in Beckenham . On arrival , I searched for the Blue-crowned Parakeets , but once again I failed to find them , there were of course plenty of the Rose Ringed variety all over the park . Always a chance of something out of the ordinary on a visit there , but today it wasn't to be . Lots of noisy
Black-headed Gulls , with more than the single found last visit in Summer plumage . The most numerous species after them were the Tufted Ducks , with a count of over 50 in the area of the
waterfall , and probably 75/100 in total around the lake , sorry for mentioning that Warren . Out on the island , at least 10/15 nests are now occupied in the heronry , with new nesting materials being
delivered all the time . This particular bird looked really fed up when I first saw it , but a few minutes
later , it was settled down in the nest , possibly already on eggs . Whilst near the waterfall , I noticed a Little Grebe searching for food , close to the bank to my left , and after a few dives , it came up with
quite a sizable fish , which it tried for ages to consume , but to be honest , I'm not sure if it managed
it . The next time I saw it , it swam quite close across in front of me , heading for an overhanging conifer , and started diving again , and again coming up with a fish , a smaller specimen this time ,
and after thrashing it about on the surface for a while , managed to get this one down . It was deja vu in the stream below the waterfall , with the , or another Cormorant on the same log , but this time
sporting it's white breeding patch . It was also in this area where I found the only non BHGull of the day , when I came across a Lesser Black-backed specimen , which flew off immediately . Fewer Mandarins were seen today , but one particular male with attitude was running things on the other side of the stream , and was prepared to stand his ground to all comers , including the Geese and

Muscovy Ducks , and me for that matter . The only other interest found was plenty of flower buds on
the Yews , which should mean plenty of berries for next Winter , and a flock of 10 or so Redpoll that landed , calling nasally , in the tall trees near the play area as I made my way out of the park . On my way home , I had a quick look at some ponds that have just been de-silted , and it looks like a good job . In the same area , a Long Tailed Tit scolded me continuously . As I made my way back to the
car , the reason became apparent , when a second bird arrived with nesting materials , and dived into a nearby Yew . The day finished with a surprise , some sunshine , but it still remained cold .
Work day up on the Common tomorrow , checking on the Buzzard on the way . I passed it twice this week in miserable conditions , but it was still sat out on a fence post each time .


Warren Baker said...

I think Tufted Ducks have some sort of allergy to pittswood Greenie :-)

Good to see that long TT making a breeding attempt already!

Rohrerbot said...

WOW! I love a lot of these birds. Would love to see them here in the States:) A couple come to Tucson but those Tufted Ducks are very cool!

ShySongbird said...

Hi Greenie, you did well to get so close to the Little Grebes, they are always very distant for me....and usually disappear underwater as I get the camera on them. Love the Mandarin photos. They still don't seem to have reached my area so have never seen one.

It looks like there should be plenty of interest to come from the heronry.

Alan Pavey said...

Good stuff Greenie, some definite signs of spring with those birds collecting nest material :-)

Ken. said...

Always good to see the Grey Herons in the nest, they certainly have got their priorities right breeding early, you know what they say about the early bird?
Nice Mandarin shots.