Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The colours of Autumn

Autumn is most certainly here, the leaves have turned and the temperatures have plummeted! I trudged off from the car park in my wellies with cold feet in tow. I headed over the yellow brick road to see the changes since the cut, nothing much about but 4 unidentified geese (probable Canadian Geese) flew low and dropped down towards the river, unable to re-locate I headed on. A flock of 20+ Goldfinch passed noisily overhead.
I arrived at the new feeding station / photography screen... WOW! This was my first visit to the reserve since 6th June so I was incredibly impressed by the progress made on the reserve, this is an absolutely fantastic area which im sure many will enjoy for years to come, well done to all involved.

I settled down on one of the benches and watched close encounters with 15 Great Tits, 5 Blue Tits and 5 Redpoll - some absolute beauties! Also at the feeders were 3 Bullfinch & 2 Goldfinch.

                                                                          Blue Tit
                                                                             Redpoll


A Wren flitted about clicking away to my right in the scrub, whilst a male and female Chaffinch gladly picked up scraps from underneath the feeders.

To my amusement a Great Tit was hammering on one of the feeders as the hole was a bit too small for its beak! At first I thought it was a woodpecker and just after that, guess what flew in... A Great Spotted Woodpecker breifly appeared on one of the trees behind the feeders but alas it was off before I could reach for my camera.

A solitary Siskin arrived which I was very pleased with, a first time i've seen one from close range which was lovely. Two flocks of Long-Tailed Tits passed through having a great time on the fat balls.



                                                                       Siskin
 

                                                                    Long-Tailed Tits
 
 
                                                                       Female Chaffinch

                                                                      Male Chaffinch
                                                                     
                                                            Golfinch (L) & Redpoll (R)
                                                    Bullfinch (L)  Redpoll (M) Goldfinch (R)

Other species around the feeders were Robin (heard singing), Blackbird & 3 Magpie.

                                                                             Magpie

As I walked off and arrived back on the riverside (by the wier) I heard a commotion from 3 Jays, 2 of which were very showy & I got fantastic views in the binoculars, unfortunately they were not so showy when I reached for the camera!

A fantastic hour at Cromwell Bottom, if you haven't been for a while (or ever), get yourself down!!

Species List:

5 Lesser Redpoll
2 Chaffinch
5 Blue Tit
15 Great Tit
Blackbird
3 Bullfinch
Wren
Robin
25? Golfinch
Siskin
Great Spotted Woodpecker
3 Jay
20 Long Tailed Tit
3 Magpie
4 Carrion Crow
3 Black Headed Gull
Jackdaw





8 comments:

Bruce said...

Brilliant post Andy and cracking pictures. Someday our paths may cross again!

AndyC said...

is that a Mealy redpoll or just a trick of the light...::?

Andy Kiz said...

Thanks Bruce hopefully bumP into you on the reserve sometime!

Andy - do you mean the first pic? I can see if I have any others tomorrow

AndyC said...

Photo number 4 looks very pale ,,but now Ive got my glasses on I not sure if its just the photo.??

B.Nield said...

Unfortunately no Mealy's yet?
for id purposes:
http://cromwellbottom.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/making-mealy-out-of-it.html
A few pics from last winter to refresh the memory.
They are slightly bigger than lesser if sharing a feeder - but would appear very pale with much more white. Arctic would have thick white edges to primaries & tail feathers.
Sure we will get a couple soon.

AndyC said...

although you might be right Redpolls are never that simple and every one needs looking at closely,rump shots are essential..etc..the pic before I agree is a classic mealy but not all mealys are that straightforward. its a good time of year to start looking at all pale Redpolls...http://birdingfrontiers.com/category/finches/

B.Nield said...

Ok - time to let you all in on my information source, If you have 20-30 secs to study the pale birds after reading this:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/75552587/Redpoll-Identification
The only one that should be confusing would be the Arctic, but if you can remember all the fine details from the above even those should be a little easier.
This is the best information source for Redpoll ID I have seen.
The point was, unfortunately - That the pics didn't contain a Mealy. But please all have a good read of the above. Next will be "yellowPoll's" mealies or not? lol

Andy Kiz said...

Thanks B.Neild that source is a fantastic guide, im not versed in Redpolls myself but eager to learn. I've posted some more pics of the same one (i dont think its mealy now i've looked at that page)Will have a look at the other links too - thanks Andy C