Monday, 14 January 2013

A Grey Day

All my good intentions of posting on a more or less daily basis went out of the window last week due to a multitude of either reasons or excuses. Today was MOT day for my car and while it was being done I walked down to Kearsney Abbey and along to Bushy Ruff. There is always a change of seeing a Kingfisher and Grey Wagtails are usually around.

Overall it was a quiet day and the birds, apart from the numerous Mallards, Coots, Moorhens and Gulls were fairly scarce. One Grey Heron sat high up on one of the trees on the island opposite the tea rooms at the Abbey. The snow had ceased and it looked fairly comfortable surveying the park from an elevated view point.
Normally Grey Wagtails are easy to find but today I had to work quite hard and only found a single bird at the far end of Bushy Ruff. Although it was a grey day and it seemed as if someone had turned the lights out I was given a good performance as this bird used a branch projecting into the high water for fly-catching.

I did think that this was probably a first winter bird but reading through Pipits and Wagtails of Europe, Asia and North America by Per Alström & Krister Mild ageing and sexing Grey Wagtails in winter isn't as easy as I had supposed.
After a fair bit of log running my show was ended when it bird flew across the Dour and vanished in the trees opposite.
I had a look at the ponds on the other side of the road. still hoping to come across a Kingfisher. I was not lucky in this respect but there was a group of six Gadwalls quite near the edge. Whether it's because this lake is less disturbed than Bushy Ruff I don't know, but this Gadwall seem to favour this side of the road.

1 comment:

Kingsdowner said...

We watched that grey wagtail on Sunday, and admired the blush on its chest.
Also pleased to see a treecreeper in the abbey grounds.