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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Friday, 13 February 2009

Water, water everywhere!

I know now that I have three (rather than the previous two) blackcaps visiting the garden as yesterday, I saw two males at the same time and I also have a female. Regretably the Bramblings and Pied Wagtail have disappeared but I suppose I can't have it all! (Oh I know - I shouldn't be greedy) The goldfinches still visit in great numbers with recently, there never being less than 20 on any one day. This is now beginning to be quite normal for my garden.

Today I decided to have a quick nip along various points of the River Thames; given the snow melt and the following rain the river is dangerously high but fortunately, it's receding - phew!

It's ironic that out in Australia they are having record breaking heat and fires whilst here in the UK we've had more snow than we've had for 20 years and now some flood alerts as a result. What a topsy-turvey weather world we live in!

However, I digress - a pictorial account of my wander along the Thames and River Ember!

Swollen River Thames at Hampton Court


With a few of the birds

near Molesey Lock



From Hampton Court I went further upstream to Walton-on-Thames and the bridge



Many swans and Canada and Greylag Geese - although this one I believe is a bit of both!

Rather haughty trio of Greylags


On my way home I stopped and had a wander through the field (in my road) to the River Ember. Needless to say the river here was very full also.


But what did surprise me was the lone male Wigeon


There are hundreds of gulls in my area and this is evidenced by their flights over the area when they go to roost. It's quite spectacular and I'm sure most people are totally unaware of the waves upons waves of gulls going over.

This display involved the gulls circling overhead - don't know what was happening but it was about 4.00 p.m. (ish) so whether this was a pre-roost gathering or not??

If anyone has any theories?.......

11 comments:

mick said...

Beautiful photos - the ones of the river with sky and reflections in the water are especially nice. The massed gulls are very interesting. Do you know where they go to roost and are they all the same species of gull?

Tricia said...

Thanks Mick. I've no idea what species the gulls are - what you see in the picture is moreorless what I saw with the naked eye. Far to high for me to ID them. I imagine they were mixed and I'm sure some of them would be Black-headed Gulls as they are so common here.

In terms of where they go to roost - I have tried to follow them but couldn't keep up - all I know is they go west from me!!

Dean said...

Hi Tricia. They may have been feasting on Midges. There were quite a few Midges about today, in the sunshine.

Carin Fuchs said...

As ever: Wonderful pictures Trica! My favorite is the illiterate (female Mallared?) duck! LOL LOL LOL

We have snow and then we had a bit more snow and ... just for a change ... we had more snow! LOL LOL LOL

Tricia said...

Thanks Dean - that sounds quite likely as there is a reservoir just beyond the Ember and many others not that far away - all conducive for midges!

Carin - yes you're quite right it's a female Mallard that can't read! And please keep the snow over there - I've had enough of it!!

Anonymous said...

Great photo's Tricia, your pic of the lone 1st winter B/Headed Gull is brill. Dean is spot on about the Gulls feasting on midge. And as you say, if there are Reservoirs near you thats just the place for their roosting, they feel safe and secure inland. They do roost in great flocks of mixed species, thats what makes Gull watching so interesting. You really should take a trip to one reservoir put on your big lens, and snap away LOL. Ok i will say please do that trip.


paul.

Tricia said...

Paul - thanks for your comments. Whilst they may roost on some of the nearby reservoirs - you can't get to them - in that they're under lock and key!! The gulls also fly way beyond the locals so I know not where they go. But one day.....

The Early Birder said...

Tricia, you could try Staines Reservoir - causeway runs between 2 basins or Wraysbury Gravel Pits. Papercourt Pit (behind Ripley) also has reasonable no's gulls roosting. Be happy to show you around
Gulls can often be seen 'flycatching' at lower altitudes in the summer months.

Tricia said...

Frank - I've visited Staines a while ago but nothing much was about. Wraysbury and Papercout I don't know at all - so if you're going any time.....

Yoke, said...

Love the post and pictures, Tricia.

The Mallard female is great, I think that having a private deck deck- duck?or duck deck?) can be quite handy Although she might need the boards to hang up next to her nest site, in a few months. Perhaps that is why she was claiming it?

The river Ember looks really nice and peaceful.

Tricia said...

Yoke - my apologies but I thought I'd acknowledged your comment.

I think you're right about Mrs. Mallard - she made need it as a paddle for her nest!

The spot by the Ember is peaceful as you so rightly observe.

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