Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Above is a view of the main lake this afternoon, still iced over :-(

As is normally the case, wall to wall morning sunshine gave way to thick dark clouds the moment I left work ( its enough to drive me to drink!!!)

I was thinking about staying in this afternoon, as the rain looked imminent, a sit by the window to watch the garden visitors was a much more appealing idea, this was ruled out once my neighbour decided to do some gardening.

So I decided to go and see how the lakes were getting on with their defrosting, as you can see from the photo above they were still 90% ice. I picked up half a house brick, then tossed it as high as I could over the ice, it came down and just bounced! A while before any ducks visit here then!!

I checked the mixed finch's that were seen on the Alpaca enclosure as I passed through the Small Holding, no Brambling found, but it looks promising, there were still at least 15 CHAFFINCH'S, 8 GREENFINCH and a few BLUE TITS picking up the Hornbeam seed, so it's always worth a scan.

Walking through the Wet Woods, some of the smaller pits have water in them now, and a lone drake MALLARD was on one, but the larger pits were still frozen over, just as I was going to move on again, I heard what I was listening out for yesterday, a WAXWING (55) !! I wondered at first if it was just my imagination, but it called again, that unmistakable trill as it went over, I didn't see it though :-( . Still, thats one good species to have on my year list, exactly whats needed help to reach the target of 109 for the year.

As well as throwing stones on the ice, I also found a couple of confiding GOLDCRESTS at the lake, which I tried to take a photo of, but it was so dark, the birds had moved out of the frame before the shutter closed, all I got was a blur!

Spits of rain were now falling, so i headed home, out through the Wet Woods and across the Tree Nursery, just 50 mins were had out, very disappointing! However the ever gathering gloom was suddenly pierced by a pure white bird heading straight at me - a LITTLE EGRET (56), a second Month/year tick ! Amazing I spent hours out on Monday and got nothing. Two good species to get on the list too, obviously Waxwing, but Little Egret was only recorded in 4 different months last year.

Below is the Little Egret, just look how dark it was out there, and it wasn't even 3 o'clock! Hopeless for photography!


Adam said...

Well done Warren, relieved I won'yt have to send you all those texts about nearby Waxwings sit back and enjoy my photos of the birds at East Malling without any pressure ;-) Roll on the sunshine so we can all start getting some decent snaps.


Phil said...

Just as well that Egret was white Warren, otherwise you wouldn't have seen it I doubt. Well done with the Waxwing, I need to find another one at New Hythe for 2011.

Warren Baker said...


Ive just been told off by the missus for taking all the apples from our fruit bowl, the're now stuck on the Elder tree in my garden :-)

Derek Faulkner said...

Warren, I'm amazed at your frozen lake, seems wierd given all this mild weather now.
As for Adam's wish for sunshine, well it was to wall on Sheppey this morning and despite a breeze it could easily of been an early March day - blow the Waxwings, I was looking for Wheatears.

Warren Baker said...

The lake is pretty shallow, wouldn't surprise me if it had frozen all the way to the bottom.

Bob Bushell said...

Well, it wasn't really nice here also Warren, but, you caught a Little Egret, that's the way.

Pete Woodruff said...

Waxwing and Little Egret same day....great stuff Warren.

The two pools you see me mention on Birds2blog (Conder Pool, Canal Basin) are also still frozen over after all this time into the thaw, this surprises me but there you go.

Marc Heath said...

No panic now then in December for a Waxwing, well done. I'm surprised that so many areas of water are still iced over around.

Sharon said...

Well done with the Waxwing :)
I've also been sticking apples on canes & branches in our back garden in the hope of attracting them - the Starlings are loving them :(

Anonymous said...

Two good birds for the year then Warren. Nice one mate.
All we got up here was rain, rain & more rain :-(

Chris said...

So you finally manage to hear a waxwing. Hope you will see it soon... I went back yesterday and mate that was crazy. We stopped to count after 150!! They were everywhere, picking berries on the ground, flying over our heads. It was just magic!

Jason K said...

You lucky so and so...getting Waxwing for your patch year list so early!

Simon said...

Blimey Warren, a Waxwing...I can only dream of these stunning birds to visit Mote Park :-(, there's no berries left in the park now.

Well done with the Little Egret too!! :-)

Paul said...

Hi Warren, its a shame that your lake is still frozen, lets hope it thaws out soon mate. I think I could read your lips when that house brick bounced across the ice!!! Nice about that Egret though.