Friday, 22 March 2013

Friday 22nd. March 2013

Squeezed between yesterday's workday up on the Common and tomorrow's final outing of the season with the Surrey Hedgelaying Group , some early morning tool maintenance was followed by a cold and windy visit to Kelsey Park in Beckenham , but at least it wasn't muddy . But , before leaving , I checked on the garden feeders , as Carol had had a male and female Siskin just before I returned from the Common yesterday , along with many more Finches on what she described as a 'feeding frenzy' , no doubt they knew what weather was on the way . Plenty of Greenfinches , including this male with
attitude , and Goldfinches came to the feeders along with good numbers of Chaffinches feeding on the ground . I was about to give up on the Siskins , when the male arrived on his own , and tucked in
to a hearty breakfast . Arriving at Kelsey Park , I was glad to have donned a couple of extra layers , as especially around the lake , the wind was bitter . Along The Beck , just before the first waterfall , a
male Mandarin , normally very well turned out , looked somewhat dishevelled as he balanced on a log in the water . Just below that waterfall , a female Greylag Goose , coming up for air , having just
been mated by her partner , and towards the far bank , a Coot was busy constructing it's nest . The noise level increased near the heronry island , as most visible nests seem to be occupied now , and
confirming that some birds are already on eggs , these two were just making the change over of sitting duties as I passed them . On the ground on the edge of the island , single large white eggs
could be seen in two , very rough nests , this being one of them . Most likely Canada or Greylag Geese . When I got around the other side , a Mute Swan could be seen sitting amongst the vegetation , I couldn't be sure if that too was nesting . Between the heronry and the end of the lake ,
an unusual sight of a female Grey Wagtail , perched in a tree . It stayed for some time , before flying off , calling . Just above the second waterfall , another unusual sighting , of three drake Mallards , one
being held down by the back of it's neck , and the third bird trying to get in on the action . The duck being 'ducked' , had a lighter bill than the other two , possibly indicating a juvenile . An adolescent being put in his place ? Along the Beck below the waterfall , a wet , leaf covered area , produced a
most confiding Song Thrush , that was until the next dog and owner turned the corner ,and at the
truncated tree further along the path , it seems that the feral pigeons are already breeding too . Crossing the Beck and returning on the other side , a male Green Woodpecker flew in and landed in a
nearby tree , and actually stayed still long enough to fire off a couple of shots , before disappearing into the adjacent gardens . As I walked alongside the lake , I caught sight of these three Black-headed
Gulls , each in a different stage of head plumage , one shot and they too were gone . Just before reaching the exit , a pair of Mandarins flew down the Beck , and as I crossed the small bridge , I
spotted the female in a large Beech tree , seemingly looking for a suitable nest site . When she flew , a male that I hadn't seen , followed her and they both landed in another tree . The male then waddle
along the branch to when she was , and I'm sure he was asking 'have you made a decision yet?'
Some squeaking noises then caught my attention , but I couldn't work out where they were coming
from . Eventually , this dapper male emerged from under the bridge I was standing on , closely followed my a female . I'll leave it to the imagination what had been going on under the bridge .


Warren Baker said...

Nice post Greenie :-)

Some good photo's there today. Getting better with that camera of yours I reckon :-)

ShySongbird said...

A very nice variety of birds here Greenie and some lovely photos, the last one of the Mandarin is particularly nice when enlarged. Well done on the Siskins, I have lots of Greenfinches in the garden but haven't spotted any Siskins this time.

We have more snow here!

Ken. said...

Reading the first part of your blog you could be describing my garden, Siskin included.
Like the pics of the Mandarins, especially up a tree, there's nothing like a good nesting hole.
Nice selection of bird photographs.