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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Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A birdy trip to the supermarket and a surprise!

OK - so I needed some food from the supermarket. The grey had transmuted into a hazy sun as the day got underway. I knew I would have trouble steering the car away from Painshill on the way, so I dressed warmly for a wander. It was VERY COLD! But - a hazy sun was starting to appear.

Before I got into the park, I was aware of the bird song all around me - so much more than a couple of weeks ago. A few Long-tailed Tits darted through the shrubs.

Looking around as I headed toward the bridge and into the park, catkins were proclaiming the promise of spring!

A Blue Tit trilled from its loft perch.

As I stood on the bridge - listening to the sound of many Goldfinches, I started scanning the high tops of the trees; I was well rewarded with Redpolls, Siskins, Golfinches, Blue and Great Tits. The seed heads of the Alders (I think!), are now competing with catkins.

I like the "beigy" pinkness of seedhead.
(You may see a very blurry redpoll in the middle of the picture!)

Many of the older trees were showing signs of damage; no doubt recently broken branches suffered with the weight of the recent snow.
(and yes, another Redpoll merging into the branch! - best I could do :D )

I walked through and started my stroll around the lake. I small flash of blue which alerted me to a kingfisher. I turned off and headed down the very muddy slippery bank to the edge of the River Mole - this is where I'd hoped the Kingfisher had stopped. I scanned along looking at likely perches and to my delight - there he was perched up. Far to far away for a picture, but at last I've seen it! And thanks to my Painshill fisherman friend who kindly showed me the likely spot to see it.

My next surprise was as I scanned the lake. Loads of tufties and, well they're a funny shape!

A male and female Goosander. Now this is a first in this location and a first in terms it's the closest I've ever seen Goosanders.

Of course they were on the far side, but the sun was behind me from where I stood and watched.

I was so engrossed watching this pair, that I hadn't realised there were many more of them further up the lake. A couple of males decided to join the pair.

Then a group of four took off and flew away.

Two others decided to move back to whence they came.

I was delighted! There must have been about 10 males in total but I only saw the one female.
Many Gadwall about (again not regulars there), and one took off while I was watching.

I wandered on listening to two Nuthatches one of which I saw flitting about. A great tit sat surveying the scene. As I stood there a Wren dashed across and disappeared through the bottom of the hedge.

Many more water fowl around now the water is once again open. Canada Geese and Greylag Geese there in numbers.

It seems everything was on the move today. This Cormorant flew overhead...
before decided to come back again!

The Great-crested Grebe was about; it may be the youngster from last year. I added Coots, Mallards and a Grey Heron. A couple of robins also darted about happy to be near each other.

Time was getting on and I was getting hungry! I walked back and had one more look for the Kingsfisher, but not to see it this time.

But I did find a clump of Snowdrops - the first I've seen at Painshill this year.

Well I hadn't been there for long today, but I was well rewarded.

Oh yes - I then came down to earth with a trip to the supermarket - but at least I'll eat tonight.


Pete said...

nice one

Chris said...

Hi tricia,
What a wonderful tour you got... I guess we are getting happier and happier to see that the ice and snow go away and that birds are slowly recolonizing lakes and ponds!!! That's cool to see so many goosanders at once! The fight shots are really nice. Once again, a splendid post!

Anonymous said...

Those Goosanders were quite a find Tricia and lovely snowdrops to round it off, just great and hopefully signs of things to come.

The Early Birder said...

A very worthwhile visit.

Wilma said...

Great action shots!

oldcrow61 said...

What a lovely day you've had. Great shots.

Midmarsh John said...

I see you catkins and Snowdrops are much further on than mine.

Great flight shots of the various bird life Tricia.

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo's Tricia.


TonyC said...

Lovely post Tricia, Great job with the goosanders, you cought them absolutely right.

Phil Wallace said...

Lovely flight shots of the birds, Tricia. Very good.

Best wishes.

Billy D said...

Well done with the Goosander, Tricia! Great photos by the way. So they are on the lake with the island in the middle? I might have a try for them on Saturday.


Billy D said...

Forget that bit about the island in the middle... I'm getting Painshill mixed up with Claremont!

holdingmoments said...

It always amazes me, how after really bad weather, nothing is around, then suddenly everything returns with a bit of sun.
Some great birds there Tricia; and quite a group of Goosanders.
Nice one of the Snowdrops. I planted some in my garden, but no sign of them yet.

Tricia said...

Thanks Pete ..

Chris - it was a good walk and turned out to be very interesting!

Roy - a real find with the Goosanders !

Frank - I'll have to check but I think it's free entry on a Wednesday in February.

Wilma - thank you

OC - thanks; good to get some fresh air!

John - I think its our Southern climate - you know - subtropical (I wish)

Thanks Paul.

TonyC - you're very kind with your comments.

Phil - good to see you here and best wishes to you too. And thank you for your kind comments - much appreciated..

Billy D - sorry they weren't where you expected ..

Keith - needless to say I'm delighted to see you commenting again. It's spasmodic at this time of the year isn't it!

Your snowdrops will be out ere too long ;)

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