Thursday, 9 February 2012

Watercress For Lunch

With the weather somewhat settled for a few hours, I thought a trip out at lunchtime would be just the ticket. Rooksbury Mill which I must admit has been somewhat neglected by me in recent weeks the location.

Had a quick peep over the pedestrian bridge up the River Anton, no wildlife in site, just the "Moany Photographer" sat on the sluices to the side of one bank, tripod positioned midstream. Not sure what he was waiting for, not sure it wouldn't have seen him and fled in terror, hardly inconspicuous.

On all my visits to Rooksbury, today seemed to show off the most birdlife. Must be the cold weather, with the smaller Brooks Lake my first stop I was surprised to see it abudent with 4/5 x as many inhabitants than normal. 25-30 Tufted Duck, 15-20 Gadwall, Coots, Moorhen, a pair of Little Grebe, 3 Mute Swan and the a dozen or so Mallard.
Female Gadwall
The larger Mill Lake seems to have been invaded by Black-headed Gulls, a much larger number now present, again Tufted Duck and Gadwall, Coot, Mute Swan & Moorhen all present, a pair of Teal flushed from the edge of the Boardwalk as I walked around the far edge. A Little Egret also flew from the woodland cover to the right hand side of the path, circling the lake eventually landing atop a nearby house. The lake revealing itself to be half under ice the further around I could see, concentrating all of the Bird numbers on the remaining clear water.
Little Egret
Whilst trying to photograph a couple of swans in the nearby reed bed, I was distracted by a large duck like bird taking flight from the lake edge, better views revealed a Drake Goosander, my first for the area and the for the year, unfortunately not sticking around long enough to get a picture. Not long after a Grey Wagtail flew overhead, also another first for the year.

With no perching birds visible, (although I could hear, House Sparrow, Great Tit, Robin & Blue Tit) I headed back around the Brooks lake, spotting Chaffinch, Greenfinch & Goldfinch on the way. My intentions of getting a better Gadwall pic headed pretty much out of the window, as I spied movement next to a pair of Blackbirds in amongst a small area of watercress. A Water Rail, who fled pretty rapidly under the overhanging ivy, So i positioned myself and within 5 minutes he/she was back out in the open, allowing me some pretty good views.
Water Rail
Water Rail
Water Rail
Not a bad hour, well hour and 5 minutes, Why do you always see something interesting when its time to go back to work? Puts the Year list up to 86 Species so far.

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