Wednesday, 16 November 2011

It's Rite Grimey Out!

I decided at the risk of being called a fair weather birder to venture out in the grimey mistiness of a Hampshire November day. A change of scenery for my lunch break today Rooksbury Mill LNR, a bit more secluded than Anton Lakes and in a much quieter area of town if you can drown out the sounds of the A303.

I don't think I've seen so many Blackbirds before, every bush and tree housing several, even a couple of the black billed varieties mentioned on Autumnwatch recently. I thought i'd try my luck around the Fishing lake first, not alot at all to report a Mute Swan and a couple of Coots. On the far side the boardwalk path weaves through some old Watercress beds and intertwines with the River Anton. I accidently disturbed a Kestrel from the Ash trees overlooking the water, a small group of Long Tailed Tits in the waterside willows.

The more overgrown area of the reserve starting to show up a few more signs of life. Following the path back around the edge of the Second smaller lake, about half a dozen pairs of Tufted Duck in the middle of the water, joined quite quickly by 3 pairs of Gadwall. A small bridge crosses the River Anton here as it weaves it way through the Clatfords, and in one of the younger Ash Trees on the bank, something caught my eye, now I don't think I've ever seen one in England, the only previous sighting I can recall was on the bird feeding station at the Ben Nevis visitor centre in Scotland. A Treecreeper, I managed to get exactly 3 shots off before it flew off. Never the less another one to properly tick of the list.

Now when I was speaking to massive camera lens man yesterday he mentioned that the Kingfishers down at Rooksbury Mill were a little trickier to photograph, but that you were more likely to see one. Well I heard them first, and then I saw one, and then it stopped on a post jutting out from the water about 30-40 yards away! Now my pictures are pretty Awful, terrible, grainy, distant. But do you know what! Im over the moon that ive finally caught one on camera!



  1. Damn right, I spent longer editing this in Photoshop than I did standing there and taking it!

  2. That's a cracking pair of shots there mate, I've never managed one of either of those species. I spent some time up a tree past year to get close to a kingfisher and I did! Trouble was, I didn't have a camera back then. Since then, no luck.