Once more unto the river, dear friends

Another day off with a slightly iffy forecast for later (EDIT: They weren't wrong!) so I pootled to the river, thinking I'll maybe get an hour down there before the wind and rain set in

First up, a beautifully posing heron

He decided enough was enough, and took flight. I'd never considered a herons feet before....did you realise they were properly clawed??

But my mummy said I could be anything I want.... and I want to be a cormorant!

Quite a nice start I thought. I saw some folk jogging down the path, in camo gear and with camera's... ey up I thought...what have they seen... a reminder that otters are not cute and cuddly, they are predators!

With sharp teeth

But they're still lovely!

I don't know if you remember, back along, I said I wanted either 2 kingfishers in a single shot, or one to pose for me my side of the river....well.... it still hasn't happened!!

The wind started to pick up, and I had a couple of errands to run in town, so headed back to the car, looked up and..

So, errands run, I tootled off home and thought, well it's not raining yet...who knows... so I filled the feeders and set my chair up in the doorway overlooking the garden, out of the wind and settled in to see what came along.;. within about a minute there were robin, dunnock, goldfinch, chaffinch and blackbirds fizzing about, and then up the top of a tree I saw what I thought was a goldfinch, but having seen it on the bigger screen I think is a young greenfinch? (don't get many in the garden)

Suddenly, everything disappeared, and a flurry of pigeons flew off overhead, and then in to land came only the 2nd one I've seen wild (possibly is the same one I saw a couple of weeks ago)

He swooped off after maybe a minute or so and then the garden reignited with the usual fair, apart from the arrival of an antipodean goldfinch!!

  • That first Heron shot is a beauty PB as is the Otters and Kingfisher.
    And well done on two Sparrowhawks in one day.

    My Flickr photos

  • You're an avian magnet PB. Super photos. Productive garden-sitting too.

    All the best -
  • Thanks chaps :o) I won't say that I assumed the 1st bird of prey was a kestrel coz I'd seen one there before as that would make me look silly (for a change)
    As for being an "avian magnet" I am consulting my solicitor!! But, in truth, I can't believe how lucky I've been with the things I've seen over the last few months.
  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    The fat wings and the torso barring instead of streaking would have had me, personally, thinking of a Sparrowhawk PB, for what it's worth. That said, I find them easier to tell apart in flight (so, behaviour-wise) than in pictures sometimes.

    One clattered into the garden yesterday, like a big piece of slate, but moving a lot faster than one normally sees a piece of slate doing. Don't know if he or she got lucky or not.

    You have a solicitor? I'll have to watch my step!

    Sounds to me like you've been exercising your eye and seeing things that might have been there before, but now you're seeing them more readily.

    And, if so, that's very cool indeed. Looking forward to more photos in future.

    All the best -
  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Dave - CH said:
    like a big piece of slate

    You're sure you don't have a hole in your roof?

    Dave - CH said:
    you're seeing them more readily

    I think that's a very valid point, although particularly with the otters, I think, it's luck with timing, as they move up and down the river whenever they feel like it, and it seems every time I go to the river I see them

    Dave - CH said:
    fat wings and the torso barring

    I NEVER bare my torso.... oh....wait....barring....

  • Terracotta tiles here, PB. And it was sort of horizontal-ish, which would have required quite a shocking wind. It also landed in the big trees down the garden, which---in my experience (and I've seen a fair amount of slate in my life)---slate seldom does.

    Funilly enough, I've just been out shopping and, walking past one of the eight hundred (or that's how it feels) local churches, I heard small birds chatter and, of course, looked up. To see, yes, a circling Sparrowhawk. Flutter-flutter-flutter... gliiiiide, flutter-flutter-flutter... gliiiiide, You see, your magic even works at a distance!

    Whenever I think I've been lucky, I comfort myself with the idea that for every bird I'm 'lucky to see', there are hundreds that are there, right under my nose, that go entirely unnoticed. I'm sure that every day I come close to seeing amazing, rare wildlife that's right there next to me, but don't. I like that.

    What you do with your torso is your own affair, and no-one should question that, bar(r) none.
  • Great set of photos PB and what a magnificent collection of species, wouldn't say no to seeing any of those beauties and I would also say Greenfinch although now having a courtyard I've not seen any for a while !


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    OOooh, I do like a terracotta, slightly wobbly, just set...oh...terra not pana...

    Dave - CH said:
    Flutter-flutter-flutter... gliiiiide

    Now you say that, I thought I saw a buzzard overhead shortly before the sparrowhawk landed in the garden, and that was how that flew, so may be it was the sparrowhawk checking things out!?

    Dave - CH said:
    rare wildlife

    I think by definition there won't be hundreds that are right there!

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Thanks Hazel, I just keep being lucky I reckon, firstly with where we live, and secondly that the wildlife isn't ultra shy!
  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    Ah, pana cotta. Not on my list in this busy month, but I can give you a great place to eat it in Tuscany if you wish.

    Never seen a buzzard flutter... maybe that was, indeed, your raptor...

    But really, there are probably hundreds. It's just a question of having the eye (which, like you it seems, I'm always working on).

    Sweet spuds calling; have a great evening -