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, 23 January 2010

Dull, dull, dull....but

Well - the morning dawned. The only evidence of this was the slight improvement in the light from the total darkness of night. Another grey grey day. I really faffed about this morning trying to decide what to do. Whilst I was staring out into the garden, a bird landed on the fat feeder which is not far from the (very dirty!!) window. And - to my surprise and delight - it was a Reed Bunting - in my garden!! I'm still trying to believe this. I think it's a male his winter clothing; but, as usual, if anyone knows different then I'm very pleased to learn more.

My garden list for 2010 is not looking too bad at the moment.

Blue, Great, Long-tailed and Coal Tits
Green and Goldfinches and Chaffinches
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Feral Pigeon
Ring-necked Parakeets
Wood Pigeons
Ring-necked Doves
Blackcap (male)
Song Thrush and
Reed Bunting
and, equally amazingly, a Redpoll

Edited to add Starling, Jay, Robin and Dunnock - how could I have forgotten them - they're all regular visitors!

24 species so far - quite happy about that considering we're only 23 days into the year :D
plus: Fox, Squirrel and Common Frog (yes - 1 in the pond!!)

Today's little star in the garden.

I finally decided on a trip over to Barnes (London Wetland Centre) - arriving a bit later than usual.

I started out around the Wildside as this is where the Bitterns have been seen mostly. I then spotted a rarity (aka) - the Pete!! We wandered on.

These American Whistling Ducks were having a mutual preen but the light was dreadful and I was too late in getting the "aw" shot!

In the Wildside hide a Bittern was in view - skulking as usual but definitely there! Masses of Tufties, Shovellers, and Teal and several of the other regulars.

In a few weeks, these male Mallards won't be content sitting next to each other on a fence!

Nothing much about in terms of small birds. We headed off for the cafe for a cuppa (and some chips! oh dear.....!! :D)

Pete then left to enjoy his journey back and I wander around the other side. There have been two Water Rails in the same spot for a few days now; and you can hear them - very easily. See them - ah now that's a different story. BUT today I was in luck. Another birder/photographer was watching and listening - I wandered around the side and found - perched up -

That's the picture that made the day.....:D

I then wandered over to the Peacock Tower; a Jack Snipe was bobbing about and someone let me have a sighting through their scope - lovely.

And that was it. At the risk of sounding very very boring (or even more boring than usual) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE could we have some sun!! Preferably at a weekend so everyone can enjoy it.


Pete said...

well done on the Rail. My view was a back running into the reeds!!

Neil said...

lovely water rail pics :)

And the reed buntings a nice one for the garden!

Tim Rucci said...

Sorry to hear about all that rain, but the birds themselves are anything but boring. I can remember a time last year in a similar situation where it rained here for about 8 days straight. I found myself looking back at photos from previous outings, since I couldn't get out with the camera.

The Early Birder said...

Excellent start to the year with the garden list. Haven't spotted a Siskin here yet. I'd be joyful of those views of the Rail; super pics Tricia. Sorry but we may have to wait awhile for sunshine.

mick said...

The photos of the Rail are really great and your garden list is pretty impressive already. Wouldn't it be great if we all had perfect weather - a bit of your rain would be useful here right now. I am having to hand water my garden!

Gaina said...

Congratulations on the Reed Bunting! My 'birding mission' for this year is to photograph and/or video some as there's supposed to be a colony not far from me.

Aren't Water Rails sweet? :)

Warren Baker said...

Blackcap, Reed Bunting and RN Parakeet aren't on my list Tricia.

That Water Rail is Brilliant!!

Bob Bushell said...

The Water Rail is my favourite, but, well done.

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
What a day you got again! Well done, even if you arrived late there, you managed to get nice shots. I love the American Whistling Ducks... These are so cute! And well done on the rail, they are quite hard to get!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant Water Rail Tricia, definitely worth going out for in this dull weather.

Jenny said...

What a great garden tick! Are you a SCD fan? Just wondering about the title! (-: Love those Water Rail shots too. I wish I'd been able to get out more in the snowy weather as I believe Water Rails and Bitterns were being very confiding! Thanks for the info on the weather gadget, I'll try that out shortly.

Alcester nature photography. said...

Another great set of pics, really like the Water Rail.
Cheers Colin.

Glo said...

Super photos of birds I don't even know about! Nothing dull about your blog posting :)

Tricia said...

I've added four birds to my gardens list - the regulars that I forgot DOH!

Thanks Pete - right place, right time - just luck I guess.

Neil - thank you - pleased about the garden tick!

Tim - I think I'm reaching the "best from last year" stage at this very moment ;)

Frank - not a bad start at all.

Mick - I think perfect weather might get a little boring? I'll swap you a bit of rain for a bit of your sunshine?

Gaina - Good luck with your Reed bunting hunt. Water Rails are always smaller than I expect them to be..

Warren - You've many that aren't on mine but as the year goes on.... we will both have more :)

Bob - thanks; one of those rare photographic opportunities

Chris - I'd heard the Rails for so long and was so surprised when this one popped up on the reeds

Roy - thanks. You never know what you might find in any weather eh..

Jenny - thank you. Funny you should mention SCD - oh yes - an avid fan!! It does sound rather "Craigish" doesn't it LOL There were 2 Bitterns at the reserve today but I only saw one of them - skulking as usual!

Colin - thank you again. :)

Glo - You're very kind! And isn't it great that the web and blogging bring all our continent's wildlife and us so much closer together; and that we can learn from each other!

oldcrow61 said...

What a great variety of birds you have coming to your feeders.

karen said...

Lovely pictures again Tricia!, was going to ask what the little garden bird was!!! But just read your comments and found out it was a reed bunting!! Well done, what a lovely little bird!! The rail pics are great too! Lovely blog xxxx

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