My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Saturday, 14 February 2009

Valentine's day at LWC Barnes - a sort of Woo Hoo day!

This morning as I sat as usual enjoying my caffeine intake of the day (I was on my 3rd mugful as I'd woken at 4.30 a.m., given in and got up at 5.00) and watching the birds, I became aware that there were a large number of goldfinches up in the trees. I counted those on the feeders - 17 - OK a bit lower than usual. Then I counted those that perched across the top of two Oak trees a couple of gardens away - I was amazed - there were 53!! Whoo hoo.

I'd mentioned to Pete that I might go to Barnes today but as the day dawned somewhat cloudy, I decided I would do some much needed sorting and tidying in the spare room as I've a house guest coming on and off over the next few weeks (but that's the subject of another day's post).

But by 11.30 I was incredibly bored and the sun was coming out so....... off I went to Barnes

A flying flock of Canada Geese greeted me on arrival.

When I got into the Courtyard area it was teeming with children - they've got a special "pets' corner" on over the weekend. So I moved swiftly on not stopping for a coffee as the cafe was packed with the little dears and their parents. Lovely that they are learning about animal life......

As Valentine's day has completely passed me by (no change there then and why should the habit of a lifetime be broken now!), I thought this couple of American Whistling Birds (Collection) seemed particularly affectionate.

The Moorhens were showing sign of courtship. Four had been engaged in a fierce fight which left two of them displaying - that's "synchronised displaying" of course

Now you may be forgiven for thinking I've lost the plot entirely by posting a picture of some not very interesting shrubbery. BUT if you look slightly to the left of off centre, you might see some brown dappled colouring - it's a WOODCOCK! Woo Hoo - a lifer for me!!
(And thanks to the very nice chappie who let me have a look through his scope)

The next excitement was a Snipe that decided it wanted to show itself. Woo hoo for the 2nd time as I managed to get some reasonable pictures.

I then went around to the "other side" of the reserve and there, hiding in the reeds was a Water Rail - Woo hoo again! However, in order to get these shots I was almost leaning out of the window and getting really frustrated trying to focus through some chain link fencing.
At first I could only get shots of its rear...

but eventually, it decided to come out a bit - just a pity it didn't step on the bit of grass that rather got in the way of an anyway decent picture.

So - not a bad way to celebrate they day with three birds that are not that easy to see!


mick said...

A very nice way to celebrate the day, I'd say. 53 goldfinches!! Wow, very nice, indeed!

Warren Baker said...

Woodcock, Snipe and water rail, great birds! Who needs valentine!!

oldcrow61 said...

Looks and sounds like you had a great day. Enjoyed the pictures as always.

The Early Birder said...

A Whoo Hoo day indeed. Nice pics of the Snipe. I'll say nothing about your Goldfinch flock! FAB

Tricia said...

Mick - I was pretty surprised to see so many!

Warren - you're right of course - who needs a valentine with such great birds

OC - was a good trip indeed; all the more so for being impromptu I think.

Frank - OK then, I won't mention them either. It was a rather good Whoo Hoo type of day though :D

swatson said...

love the photo of the snipe what a lovely bird.

Phil and Mandy said...

Whoo Hoo, i should say so, what a lovely set of birds and photos.

MaineBirder said...

Love the Moorhen photos!

Looks like you had a great day of birding.

Mel said...

Great pics!! Sounds like a lovely trip :)

Tricia said...

Sheila - it's striking isn't it!

Phil & Mandy - thanks.

MaineBirder - thanks, and yes it was a good visit

Mel - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia,
You really did have a field day out there, well done on the Woodcock, lots of Woo Hoo's.
You need to cut down on the coffee consumption though. {:)

Yoke, said...

Lovely day you've had and I'm very envious of the birds you saw; Snipe, the Rail, and the Woodcock.

Pete said...

snipe are rather good

neil said...

Woodcock, snipe and water rail in one day - so much for them being elusive birds! great stuff :)

Tricia said...

Roy - Have a really got to cut down on caffeine?

Yoke - just think of your crows :D

Pete - hmmm - I was pleased with them ;)

Neil - thanks - I was really really pleased to see them all!! Don't get many days like that.

Andrew at Quicksilverbirds said...

Blimey Tricia, so much for not getting decent shots, this collection is a bit special. Good to see wildlife in love too :-)

Tricia said...

Thanks Andrew - I think it was a special visit altogether and one that doesn't happen that often!

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