Saturday, January 03, 2009

Saturday 3rd January

I was lucky enough to be able to spend a good few hours out today - 10am until around 4pm. Also lucky enough to meet Fred from Greenie in the Wild shortly after I arrived so had some good company all day. The weather was fantastic all day and so were the birds. Early on I re-found the redhead Goosander on Alders Lake off Lunsford Lane and had a Kingfisher shoot past. Just before meeting Fred a Redpoll went over Lunsford Lane and alighted in a tree top with some Goldfinch.

Redhead Goosander

A male Stonechat was showing well in scrub by the Round Pond and I picked up a Snipe on the fringe of the scrape (the first of 4 seen today with two other in flight)

We had a scan for Bittern but no sign - only to hear 20 minutes later that Jerry Warne had it sitting in the reeds. When we returned a dog walker was screaming at their dog and it was diving into the lake.....unsuprisingly the Bittern had dissapeared. We also saw a soaring Sparrowhawk close by. Walking through the East scrub we saw the first of several Siskin flocks today. They seemed to be all over the place. Also Goldfinch feeding on teasels and Greenfinch and Chaffinch as well as a Great Spotted Woodpecker over.




Over to Abbeymead there were 6 Teal on the pit and a large flock of Pochard but not much else of note. Walking along the river we heard the first of many Bullfinch and more Teal on the river as well as a Redshank. Suprisingly the sunken marsh was very quiet and viewing difficult on Brooklands because of the low sun.


Back along the millstream we had another scan for Bittern but still no sign. We did however have nice views of a Fox that was sunning itself in a gap in the reeds. We we were alerted to the presence of a Firecrest near feeding in scrub along the ditch by at the end of the West scrub, after searching for 20 minutes we located it associating with a Goldcrest and wer rewarded with some crippling views.



Back towards Alders I managed to locate the Goosander for Fred and got some record shots. We then drove around to the Water Works entrance for one last go for the Bittern as the light was fading - I guess we were pushing our luck! We did however have good views of a Water Rail walking on the ice close to the reed bed and had small flocks of both Fieldfare and Redwing over - both birds we hadn't seen all day.


At 7:15 pm, Blogger Warren Baker said...

It's great to see that the new hythe lakes still holds some special birds steve, I've not visited for 10 years now!! Well done with the Firecrest shot, a very difficult species to capture on film.

At 8:07 pm, Blogger Adam said...

Hi Steve

Fantastic shots, not only of the Firecrest but the Siskin, perfectly framed, and making me very jealous! A Water Rail to boot as well, James who you met a couple of days ago will be as sick as a pig! Think he'd be interested to know more details of where you saw the Firecrest if you get time to email me. Did it respond to pinging?!


At 8:10 pm, Blogger Greenie said...

Steve ,
Brilliant shots all the way .
Really enjoyed today's amble .
Thanks for allowing me on .

At 8:19 pm, Blogger Simon said...

Steve, sounds like you had a fantastic day. Some amazing photos too. Were you able to get reasonably close to the Siskins? I have great difficulty getting shots of them in the Park.

At 9:11 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

I am just so honoured to share this many birds......

I love the little goldcrest, such a sweet bird. I have never been fortunate enought to see a firecrest, aren't they just exquisite.......and finally I adore foxes and that photograph is just so perfect......

Beautiful captures........

At 9:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cracking Firecrest shots Steve! Makes me wish I'd made it down there myself today, but foolishly decided to sort out my pics on the computer instead!


At 11:19 pm, Blogger Ken said...

Hello Steve. I love your photo's you got today, not that the others you take aren't good. I bow to your photographic skills, but if I had to pick one, and loving birds like I do, this time I would pick the Fox. You caught it just right.Have you seen the Water Vole in a while?

At 12:52 pm, Blogger JohnR said...

Hi Steve,

Yes - Saturday was a brilliant day weather wise. I went for the Wierton Hill Waxwings and got some pics I was happy with. Looks like I'll be visiting New Hythe soon with all the activity you're enjoying.



At 10:40 pm, Blogger Stewart said...

Tremendous shots of the Firecrest Steve, love it....

At 8:08 pm, Blogger Miranda Bell said...

Absolutely love the photos of the little Firecrest - what a wonderful opportunity as they're not easy to capture as they tend to move around so much... my first visit to your blog... will be back again... Miranda


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