Friday, 28 January 2011

The cloudy, dull, damp conditions finally relented today, and my afternoon visit was made in some nice sunshine, a biting cold wind blew, but that was easily dealt with by a few extra layers of clothing.

I was pleased to see the return of a few finches as I walked through the Small Holding, a small flock of 5 GOLDFINCH and 7 CHAFFINCH were hanging around the Alpaca enclosure. On entering the Wet Woods, a GREAT TIT was calling, trying to mimic the Marsh Tit call, which it made a pretty good job of, and 3 pairs of MALLARD were on the flooded pits, but not much else apart from Grey squirrels were seen.

Walking the footpath from the woods to the lake brought the usual quickening of pace, but I needn't of hurried, the only thing on the water was a MOORHEN! I became aware of an increasing trilling, that got louder as I approached the woody scrub area, I looked up to find 8 LESSER REDPOLL in a Silver Birch, and at least 6 SISKIN in a conifer. I set to with the camera, but before I'd finished, more chirriping, whistling, ticking and allsorts of birdy calls was heard coming my way.

Birds! birds everywhere! I was suddenly surrounded by a large feeding flock, there were, conservatively, 20 LONG TAILED TITS, 6 TREECREEPERS, 4 NUTHATCH, 6 GOLDCREST, 2 COAL TITS, 2 MARSH TITS, 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, and 2 WRENS, but there were only a few BLUE and Great Tits, these would normally make up the bulk of such a flock.

I wasn't complaining though! Where have they all been ? This is more like what i'm used to seeing here! I think the fact that a respite in the wretched gas cannons has occurred, may have had something to do with it. For the next hour or so I joined the flock, moving with them slowly and stealthily, so as not to alarm them. Soon they became acceptable to my presence, not an alarm call was heard, in fact the Marsh Tit gave some of it's beautiful warbling song, something that I rarely hear.

I didn't have to visit any other part of my patch, I filled my boots with photo's, and just let myself become immersed in the flock, watching and listening, then moving along with them from cover to cover, absolutely fascinating, and a brilliant way to spend an afternoon :-)

Also rans today, but well worth noting, were 12 LAPWINGS that flew over, only the second sighting of this species for january, and a KESTREL, which sat on a telephone pole along Ashes lane.


Here's a selection of photo's from the feeding flock. The light in the woods was just about good enough, and in some places it was quite good. The first four are of Goldcrests, as I said I filled my boots with photo's today :-) Left click to enlarge any of the photo's.







The next two are of Long Tailed Tits




The following two are of Treecreepers




Then a couple of Marsh Tits pics




A Siskin next

and lastly a couple of Lesser Redpoll, I couldn't get near to these as they fed high up.












15 comments:

steve ashton said...

its nice to get the camera out in the sun for a change, well done on the pics Warren.

Warren Baker said...

Cheers steve, my fingers have just thawed out :-)

Gadget said...

Looks like you have had a great afternoon, I can't wait to get back out in the sunshine, just hope I'm as fortunate as you were today.

Alan Pavey said...

Really nice haul there Warren and some great pics.

Marc Heath said...

Get in there as they say... Some lovely shots Warren there, nice one. Hopefully my camera will get out of the bag tomorrow

Greenie said...

Warren ,
That wind was evil today .
Great set of shots , I especially like the Goldcrest ones .

Stewart said...

Just the job Warren, I cant think of a nicer way to spend some time...

Bob Bushell said...

A fantastic selection of birds there, the Goldcrest is a real beauty.

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes, I'd like to add my voice to the congratulations on a nice selection of photographs Warren.

Simon said...

Some great birds there, and some super photos too! Those Goldcrest on the lichen shots are great!! Nice one!

Mike H said...

Warren well done some great pictures. You must be very pleased with todays results.

Paul said...

Hi Warren, what a cracking set of photos there mate, as others have said, those Goldcrest pics are very nice.
I was in Hadlow today, and I checked out the netting on the tower(through binoculars, I was near the school) About an hour after, I was in Cherry tree road, and I may have seen one of the Peregrines? all i had was my rubbish mobile phone, but i did take some photos, just got to sort them first, cheers.

Kelly said...

...love the photos today, Warren! Those little Goldcrests are so sweet. I bet if they are like our Golden-crowned Kinglets they are powerhouses of energy, though--very difficult to capture with the camera. When I eventually make it to England I hope I see a Long-tailed Tit...he is so cute! Love the Treecreeper shots too!

Dean said...

You did fill your boots Warren. Me, i`m struggling to get any sort of shots.

Phil said...

Well done Warren, the quiet spell has broken with a vengeance. Great pics too, treecreepers and goldcrests are never easy are they.