The one thing that is guaranteed, other than death and taxes is that a puddle will attract birds to come down to drink. This puddle near Bockhill Farm is ideally situated. Surrounded by farmland and hedgerows, a good area to park with the light in the right direction, and very little disturbance.
The car makes an ideal hide and fairly quickly a male Linnet came down to drink and bathe. It was quite cautious at first, with the car parked close by, but soon became totally oblivious to me as it spent about 5 minutes splashing about.
One thing I hadn't appreciated was that Linnets have the ability to twirl their heads round like a propeller. I assume that they are on the way to evolving in to a rocket powered finch.
In the hedge just behind the puddle a pair of Long-tailed Tits were extremely active, although it seems as if the one above had got an itch that needed scratching.
Next down was a female Linnet, much plainer than the extrovert male, she nevertheless enjoyed her ablutions just as much as he did.
She's doing an impression of a Mallard up-ending here and then she quickly got into the splashing routine that is so necessary for birds to keep their feathers in good condition.
Fairly quickly she was followed but a Meadow Pipit, which was a surprise.This bird showed little caution and quickly got down to work.
It really seemed to relish the job in hand an mixed bouts of energetic bathing with sitting quietly.
When it was resting, or just shivering its wings it often had its beak wide open, looking in total ecstasy.
The last to arrive while I was watching was a Dunnock. Despite their familiarity and close association to people the this was the most wary of all, retreating as soon as the shutter went off the first time.
It came back and eventually got quite used to clicking camera and eventually settled down to an energetic session of bathing.
It took quite a few pictures and it is surprising how many strange positions all the birds got into. They must be quite vulnerably during this time.
Other Birds. Once during my watch all the gulls got up and were alarming, I could see anything, so when I got a message that Richard Jenkinson had watched a Black Kite flying over Loxley I wondered if it was at that time. Later I got a call from Colin Johnson to tell me a Black Kite had just flown over the Western Docks, at Dover, and go on out to sea.