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, 9 January 2010

A tale of three winter days....

Saturday, 9 January.
Before heading out this morning, I was watching a few Long-tailed Tits. They were coming down to the ground feeder from the acer not from from the double-glazed window. It was bitterly cold with a fierce easterly wind and this little fellow(ess) didn't seem to be appreciating the cold and snow any more than I!!
I had a quick trip over to the Barnes again. Very very little about as there wasn't much water that wasn't ice! Loads of Redwings and a few Redpolls again. At one point a Woodcock flew over our heads and later on in the morning, there was one near the bird feeding area; skulking around at the back and hard to see, but it showed it head and eye quite well at one point.

A Chiff Chaff dashing around through the alders and I was very lucky to get this shot.
An Egyptian Goose looked particularly fed up just standing around contemplating nature!

Overhead and chased by a couple of crows was this (I think) Sparrowhawk. I really wanted it to be a Peregrine so if anyone can advise I would be grateful....

EDIT: Having had a quick lesson in bird ID from a friend, I now believe it's a Peregrine Falcon. BUT after further thought and consultation I'm more inclined to a Kestrel!!
The most photogenic subject of today's outing was this rather obliging and tame Robin :D

On Thursday 7th, I headed off in the snow for Bushy Park. It was like a school holiday and many children building snowmen etc. It made for some interesting scenes, but setting the exposure etc. wasn't easy..

And then into the Woodland Gardens.

I was just changing my lens (!!) from landscape to the telephoto lens as I'd seen a wren at relatively close quarters. The wren suddenly departed and out of the corner of my eye I saw a green flash... and this Green Woodpecker (female I think - can't see a red moustache) settled on a nearby tree..

As I turned around I saw this young Fallow Buck - I don't know who was more surprised. He was in the Woodland Gardens which are fenced off to prevent deer entering - this one must have found a hole somewhere in the fence.

Sunday 3 January
Difficult to believe that only four days before the snow (and six days ago from today), I was in Bushy Park with blue skies and sunshine.

Pleased to see that the Mandarin Ducks are back; counted five males and four females which is the same for that spot as last year.

"Oooh, what can I see over there?"

So now? I want all the snow to go away please and life to return to normal. I can cope with the cold but sliding around on ice and compacted snow is not my idea of fun. And the birds definitely don't like it; from my garden observations late this afternoon, I suspect there may be a couple of birds fewer by the morning :(


Neil said...

Lovely photos. The snows been great for photography.
The change in weather has been quite surprising.

Little Brown Job said...

Some lovely wintry images, love the Green Woodpecker.


Gaina said...

Hello :) Your bird of prey in photo number 4 is a Kestrel :).

Midmarsh John said...

A brilliant collection of wildlife and scenic photos, Tricia. I really love the Mandarin Duck shots - so colourful.

I agree - the glare from snow makes exposure control 'interesting'.

Even with the food we are putting out I think you are right that some birds just will not survive such prolonged cold weather especially now the chilling winds have joined in.

Glo said...

Your photos are terrific! I enjoyed catching up with your three wintry days with your great variety of amazing photos. Although I was impressed with all your photos, the one in the woodland with the swan and other birds really caught my eye. We have a woodland gardens close by which is also fenced off to keep the deer out, and I often wonder if one will get through. Yours does have a bit of a startled look on its face! I wonder if it'll be able to find its way back out, or if it will become the resident deer!

oldcrow61 said...

Your pictures are marvelous. That little robin is so cute and so unlike ours. The birds must be having a bit of a hard time of it what with the cold and snow.

Bob Bushell said...

Those are a beautiful number of birds and whereabouts, is quite a long list. My favourites are, Egyptian Goose, a young deer and the Parakeets.

mick said...

Beautiful photos of the winter scenery - BUT I am very glad I am just looking at photos and not having to live in it! The Robin is especially beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous set of photos Tricia, I particularly like the Chiff Chaff and the Fallow Deer. Great way to start a new year.
The Raptor is a male Kestrel I believe.

Mark Fellowes said...

Lovely images Trica - must get around to Bushy Park at some point!

holdingmoments said...

Cracking selection Tricia.
Especially like those wintery landscapes.

Phil and Mandy said...

Some really nice photos once again, Regards Phil

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
I know this is not funny when there is snow but you at least have nice winter pictures! But I guess that both you and the birds it is quite cold and that you would appreciate higher temps!!! It will come....

karen said...

Amazing pics Tricia!Your photography is fantastic, i wish i could take pics like that!!! Love the green woodpecker, kestrel, deer and the little robin looks very fed up!!!xxx

Anonymous said...

What a start to 2010 Tricia. Another superb mixture of wildlife photo's at their best. My fav, has to be the Mandarin-Duck, the little Robin a very cheeky chap.


SPD said...

Def a kestrel mum we had loads in dorset plus buzzards and red kites! We saw some wagtails for the first time today since the snoe so the thaw must be on the way! Lv SPD

Janine said...

Amazing shots T. The mandarin duck reflection shots are lovely. Can you believe this cold? We have not had snow here in south florida, but it has been cold enough to snow, temps well below freezing the past few nights. Is it summer yet? :)

Razboynik said...

Hi Tricia, great blog.
I've just started birdwatching again after a 25 year hiatus, and decided to keep a blog. I would really appreciate a link on your blog. I've got your blog listed already.

Tricia said...

Hi Neil - and thank you. Snow has been great for photography; we're just not used to it though

Paul (LBJ) - many thanks :D

Gaina - Thank you for your ID help :D

John - thank you once again. I was really pleased to see the Mandarins back again and about the same number of males and females.

I'm hoping the birds are faring better now that some relatively warmer weather is here.

Glo - thank you so much. I hope it will find its way back but if not, I hope one of the Park's wardens will help it along.

OC - thank you as usual :D I think the birds have suffered but hopefully more people are putting out food for them.

Bob - Thank you. The Parakeets are quite a regular sight around my way.

Mick - we could do with a bit of your warmth at the moment.

Roy - thanks I was amazed the Chiffy picture came out as it was quite deep into the tree.

Mark - thanks. The bird numbers on the "main" pond are a little low in numbers with all the frozen water but hopefully will be getting back to normal soon

Keith - thanks - looking forward now to some "spring" landscapes ;)

Phil - thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

Chris - you must think we're crazy getting so excited about all our snow compared to yours!!

Karen - many thanks. Keep practising and experimenting - you will get there!!

Paul (anon) Thank again (and hardly a gull in sight ;) )Twas a very cheeky robin.

SPD - Yes - it's def a Kestrel.

Janine - thank you. I don't want to believe the cold but can't avoid it - bring on the thermals!

Razboynik - thank you for visiting and the link. I will head over your way in due course.

Billy D - Many thanks for your comment which I inadvertently rejected. But thank you for your help in identifying the male Kestrel - much appreciated.

ShySongbird said...

A lovely selection of photos Tricia and some very chilly ones too! I love the 'face to face' deer one and also the Green Woodpecker and who could resist the Robin :)

Jan said...

Just enjoyed looking at all your wonderful photos Tricia. Love the deer and of course, the Robin, but the scenery ones are fantastic. We are being deluged by a lot more snow right now, so I won't be going anywhere by car for a few days again I suppose. Whilst it looks so good in photos, I am fed up with it now. Please go away and be summer soon.

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