Friday, 29 October 2010


For the third day running it started to get dark before it had managed to get properly light. I don't mind cold winters days if they are bright but dull weather like today's is thoroughly depressing.

At this time of year a walk round Bushy Ruff is normally brightened by the autumn colours of the trees. I'm not an arborist, so I don't recognise the tree species, but there seem to be a lot of exotics that look very "New England at the end of autumn.

One of the reason of going there is the chance of an encounter with a Kingfisher. Sadly I didn't see one today, but it is a reliable place to see a Grey Wagtail, and true to form I found one feeding on a small weir on the river.

With the light as it was I took a lot of pictures in the hope that one had the tail more or lest sharp. These little birds really live up to the name of wagtail and it it almost impossible to get a completely sharp image of the tail. Even in winter plumage this is a beautiful bird, no day with the chance of get yet another picture of a Grey Wagtail is totally dull.

There no real reason for including a drake Mallard, other that the fact that they are looking particularly sharp at the moment. That little curly tail is a real eye-catcher.

Of all the parks in the area Russell Gardens is the most formal in design, but it is still attractive to wild life, I have seen a Water Rail near the water, and it is one of the best areas to see the flash of a Kingfisher. In summer it is also a good spot to find an Emperor Dragonfly, hawking up and down the water.

The Small Mute Swan family was still there and together, Dad wouldn't join them for a formation swim above. I only ever saw this pair with two cygnets, not the normal four to six. Perhaps they lost the first clutch or suffered an early accident.

The youngsters will only have the protection of the adults for a few more months. Not long after Christmas they will be invited to leave by the adults, who will use some quite persuasive means.

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