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!
4 hours ago