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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Thursday, 27 August 2009

Painshill - an afternoon visit

This week I've had several appointments - all on different days and all seem to be roundabout late morning or early afternoon. As a result this has prevented a "day" out anywhere so I've had to stay local (or be domestic - painful!!)

This afternoon I managed to make Painshill Park - not been there for a while and wasn't expecting to see much at this time of the year.

Before I left I realised I'd lost my membership card. A phone call elicted the information that the receptionist could check I was a member and give me entrance to the garden. The cost of a replacement card - £5!!!!!

As I started taking pictures, my memory card became full; two pictures later the battery ran out so I then replaced that. I'd left my binoculars and "photography" glasses in the car!! Not the best of starts.

I heard Buzzards calling as I entered the park - but couldn't spot them. I walked along and on the lake were about 40 - 50 Canada Geese. I suspect some of these were this year's young. They were travelling up the lake and had decided that flying was quicker than swimming so had a game of leap frog - small groups flying up and overtaking the previous group.

Needless to say, I was on the "wrong" side of the lake and facing straight into the sun!



I then went over the Chinese Bridge which is normally where I first see the Great Crested Grebes and yay - there was one and it is definitely a young one.


A little further along I met Tim (a member of staff how was working on the restoration of the Grotto). He was able to confirm that it was a young one but the adults had left some time ago.

We got talking birds as usual. Tim has been around Painshill for nigh on 30 years (in one capacity or another) and was able to show me the trees where I would see Treecreepers and Nuthatches. In fact, a Nuthatch called just to confirm its presence. I now also know the two places where I'm most likely to see the "grumpy old man" which is the Terrapin and, ideally early in the morning, to see a juvenile Buzzard being fed by its parents.

I then met another volunteer I've come to know and he was, as usual, working on the reconstruction of the Grotto with Tim. As he walked towards me to have a chat, "his" robin flew down onto the table. The volunteer had been finding worms for the robin who came to see if any more were on the menu.




I walked up through the Alpine Valley and around by the Hermitage. On the way, I went through the Confier woods - I heard some high-pitched birdsong and, on looking up to the canopy way above me was rewarded with the sight of Goldcrests darting from one tree to another.

I walked on and finally came through the more formal gardens. Here, I managed to watch a male Common Darter who posed for me on a fence and post!



I bumped into Tim again on the way back and he pointed out where I was most likely to see Kingfishers. Whilst I didn't spot any today, I was delighted to see this male Banded Demoisell - quite late in the season I think?

Nearing my journey's end I came across this "hybrid" mallard - she was rather pretty...


and finally - this male Banded Demoiselle - wonderful way to finish my walk.



I followed Tim's directions and found the river where I'm to find Kingfishers; but not today it seems - I just found two fishermen. Hopefully next time........

But I then heard and got to see - a buzzard flying over between the trees.

12 comments:

Chris said...

You have so many beautiful place to visit around, and the result is magnificent. The robin shots are gorgeous, I love them!

John said...

Lovely post Tricia,

£5 to replace your membership card...er wow!!

The Banded Demoiselle is just so beautiful. Seen quite a few over recent weeks but not managed to get any photographs, as soon as they see me with my camera, off they fly.

Well done.

John

Roy said...

Love the Robin images Tricia and flying Geese shots always look nice when the camera is facing the sun.

karen said...

Another lovely post Tricia. Just lOVE the robin pics, so close!! and the hybrid mallard is indeed pretty!!!How wonderful to have all those interesting people to chat to! x

mick said...

That's a great afternoon and it sounds like you packed in a full day's sightings. Love the robin photos and story about the worker feeding it worms.

holdingmoments said...

A good visit, despite the bad start Tricia. It's good to be able to draw on the knowledge of the staff and volunteers too. Shall expect to see some Kingfisher shots soon then ;)
Cheeky looking Robin, and I love that first shot of the Canada Goose stretching his wings.

oldcrow61 said...

You have such great places to visit. Your photos are beautiful as always.

ShySongbird said...

What a lovely visit Tricia, the membership card slightly threw me as I had forgotten (I'm sure you have told us) Painshill is not a public park so I googled it and see it is described as 'One of the finest 18th century landscape parks in Europe' You are very lucky to have that on your doorstep.

Lovely photos of the Robin and yes, the hybrid Mallard was indeed very pretty! Good luck with the Kingfisher, I am still hunting! :)

Tricia said...

Chris - Thank you - it was a very accommodating Robin.

John - Thanks - Banded Demoiselles are such colourful subjects.

I thought a fee at all was out of order and then to be charged £5.!!!; which is about 16% of the annual membership. And it's only a "card" (which gets easily worn) rather than plastic!!

Roy - thank you and yes, don't the flying geese look pretty! Lol Lol

Karen - thank you too. I shall seek out Mr. Robin next time I'm there!

Mick - It's lovely that some of the staff/volunteers are really interested in the wildlife.

Keith - I quite agree and Tim (in particular) was so enthusiastic to pass on his knowledge - and he wants a full report next time Lol

OC - thank you as ever :D

Neil said...

great photos

A banded demoiselle is always a nice one to see

Tricia said...

Thanks Neil. The Banded Demoiselles are beauties aren't they!

Life in Egypt said...

me thinks the Beast is a rump they usually have holes in.
nice blog,with good photos.

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