Weather was much better today after 2 days of heavy rain - that is to say it wasn't raining and the sun occasionally broke through, but there was no wind and it wasn't cold. I went to my local canal patch, which I had visited on sunday and posted some pictures, including some showing the high water levels. Well, surprise surprise, the water levels are up even further. Bothe towpaths were extremely muddy and needed wellies and one of the towpaths was flooded with water from the fields so was generally impassable. The other towpath syarted to get flooded after the first haflfmile or so and the hide is still out of commission.
Stil the brightness seemeds to have brought the Wrens out.
Some of you lucky beggars are getting Bullfinch in your gardens with good unretsricted views - I have to walk through mud to see mine, but I think I have a pair(-:)
There are still Fieldfare and Redwing about but they were further along the towpath, after the floodin - clever things.
The very small islands that the geese were using on Sunday have disappeared and they are forced to stand in the water
or sit on the bank a long way off, almost out of range
So I had gone as far as I could reasonably get in the conditions and started the walk back - chuffed at seeing the Wren and Bullfinch, but feeling a little disappointed that I couldn't chase the Fieldafre and Redwing because of the flooding and not expecting to see much more on the way back.
Then I got my second bird that some of you are seeing in your gardens - a male and female Blackcap, in separate locations -you folk with Blackcap in your gardens coming into full view don't know how lucky you are - mine are in hiding out there!
Then I saw something I haven't seen in an absolute age - a Treecreeper.
No walk is complete, of course, without a Robin.
Just after i had taken my last Wren shot (the one in bad pics as it flew away) and was thinking that was probably it for the day, I noticed a vivid colour in the corner of my eye - a Kingfisher.
After I had managed a couple of shots he flew off and I thought that I had been rumbled. However, he just moved further down the canal.
Again he was off but seemed oblivious to me as i was able to follow him slowly further down the canal until I could see he reached the bottom of the canal in the distance- firstly on the right hand side
then on the left hand side
One last opportunity as he headed back up the canal
This time however, he had to notice me and he veered off over the hedge to pastures new. Still it was the first time I had actually been able to follow one on his patch, they are usually off as soon as they see anyone on the towpath.
Another good day, and possibly my last day out before Christmas as I'm heading North on Sunday for Xhristmas in the Northeast with my dad.
I may be lucky and get toi see Low Barns, rainton Meadows or the Red Kites at Thornley Woods while I am up there(-:).
PS another bird missed in the field but spotted in review. While photographing the geese off on the farthest bank i missed the Buzzard in the tree. At least I hope it was only a Buzzard - we have had a Marsh Harrier here too!
Birding Blog here.
Flickr photos here.
In reply to doggie:
Lovely photo's Bob,love the kingfisher and bullfinches among others. Weather in Essex was dry,a few spots of rain this evening. Have a lovely Christmas up North.
In reply to wren:
What a superb lot of photos Bob ! just love the Treecreeper and Kingfisher especially but all the photos are amazing, well done and thanks for posting, it was very interesting and glad you had such a rewarding day.
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
In reply to HAZY:
That is one successful birdwatching day Bob! I can't believe the variety of birds you have seen! Those treecreeper photos are gorgeous, and was that a real kingfisher you saw? Also love the one of the fieldfare/redwing perched on top of the branches. Now I've got a couple of weeks off work I can't wait to get out and about a bit and see a few birds for myself!
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In reply to ChristineB:
Great set of pictures,not sure of my favourite but the Treecreeper must rate pretty high,well done Bob,keep them coming.
Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can
In reply to Seaman:
Bob, I've come to the conclusion that birds must love you - they all appear for you! Lovely variety of birds.
Our herring gulls are red listed birds. Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.
In reply to Clare:
I like the shot of the Kingfisher perched up with the Mallards in the background.
A lot of people who have never seen a Kingfisher before are really surprised how small they are when one is first pointed out to them, perhaps seeing shots like this (which includes a species everyone is familiar with) would lessen the surprise!
Blimey Bob you are seeing more birds ,and a bigger variety in one day than I am getting round here in months,great shots as well.
thanks for sharing.
In reply to bonsaiman:
About time you had your share of decent weather Bob :-) It's been so poor here that I haven't been anywhere all week. I'm amazed at how many species you saw. I'd call that a good day at any time of year. It does look like you got a Buzzard in the top left corner of the last photo. That pale band across the chest is pretty distinctive.
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