Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Frost, Glorious Frost

This morning I woke up full of anticipation, no fog, a weak sun rising through the tree line of the old railway line in front of the house, result, camera cleaned and packed! I wander out to the car not really feeling the nip in the air, Window's are iced up, and not just the rubbish sludgy ice that melts as soon as you scrape it, the proper hard core stuff that you have to fear scratching the windscreen to clear. The car thermometer reads 0.5 degrees celsisus. Finally some cold weather is here.

It seems to have an instant impact, A glorious sight, the bird table had probably 4 or 5 times as many Blue Tits on it this morning, the Great Tits and Coal Tits all perched with the House Sparrows in the Apple Tree waiting there chance on the nuts and seed.

Temperature having risen to around 10 degrees by lunchtime, I thought I better take a stroll around Anton Lakes in my lunch hour, see if anything different has come in with this first little taster of cold weather. Magpies flying everywhere, not quite the birding entertainment I wanted to see but hey ho. The willow and alder trees near the edge of the water proved to be better foil. After much disruption by two very excited cocker spaniels, I managed to get clear enough views of the small flock of 12-15 birds flitting between the branches. Siskin a first for me in this area. None however stayed still long enough or came close enough for a picture.The patch of thistles, and grasses that had gone to seed, where I had seen the Goldfinches before seemed to be teeming with birds as a lot more Goldfinches and House Sparrows dropped in and out of the cover.

On to the lakes, the water pretty full now of with Mallard, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen & Black Headed Gull all mingling together, Still cant seem to get close enough to the Little Grebe to get a decent picture, they seem to be the flightiest of them all, diving straight under at any sign of movement.

Grey Heron
The Coots came pretty close so gave me a good chance to experiment a little with Aperture & Exposure etc, also had chance to grab a few frames of a Grey Heron coming into land further up the water.

The walk back to the car was pretty uneventful, more Goldfinches, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Grey Squirrel lodged in a rowan tree eating the berry's. I did however most disappointingly disturb a Male Bullfinch from some rough grass on the paths edge, only allowing a fleeting glance at his gorgeous red/pink wing feathers as he flew off. A definite draw for tomorrow though!


  1. I love drake Gadwalls...they are a very understated but beautiful bird...especially when you see them close up

  2. Hey there - found your blog from Warren's (Pittswood Birds) - enjoying your posts/pics and your background image is fantastic!!
    Looking forward to more posts,

  3. They certainly are Jason, almost like a wigeon with the markings, but not the colorings.

    Many thanks Sharon, I will try not to disappoint :-)