Monday, 25 January 2010

Mostly Herons 25th January

I had a walk around around Brooklands, Abbey Mead and along the river this morning. It was drizzling and cold with a bitter north wind and there wasn't really much to see to be honest. I'm ninety five per cent certain I saw a green sandpiper though, medium length bill, dark underwings and very pale/white undercarriage, it flew down river quite fast calling a couple of times but i'm not absolutely sure so no tick on that one. Also nice to see the large flock of goldfinch still around the NW corner of Brookland lake. I stopped on the piece of high ground to the west of the sunken marsh and as I looked over towards the heronry further upriver something must have spooked the herons because they all suddenly took to the air, I counted twenty three flying just above the trees, with more still visible in the branches, it was quite a sight to see so many in the air so close together. They circled around Abbey Mead for a few minutes before returning back to the trees. Later on while walking back down the river path there were sixteen all standing together on the exposed mudbank by the creek, I think the collective noun might be a siege of herons which did seem to suit the scene on this occasion. I tried to get close to take a picture but with sixteen sharp pairs of eyes I didn't stand a chance. When I got home I looked out of the patio doors and could see this heron (below) fishing in it's usual spot on the far bank of the lake and wondered if it was one of the twenty three I'd seen earlier. I wouldn't be at all surprised.


Greenie said...

Phil ,
I wish my back garden finished like that .
Are the seats for sitting , or for looking over the fence ?

Phil said...

Very perceptive Greenie, I do indeed use it to stand on, especially in the summer when the reeds are higher.

Warren Baker said...

I should imagine quite a large ''seen from the garden, in the garden'' list has been achieved Phil ??

Unlucky with the potential Green Sandpiper, maybe next time. :-)

Adam said...

So that's how you got to see the Smew! Do you watch birders watching birds from your patio?! No sign of the Smew today when I popped down at lunchtime, but bguess it could have been tucked up in the bank. I did have a small flock of Redpoll in the alders off the footpath and they seemed to working towards the back gardens, presumably one of them yours - keep you eyes peeled!


Phil said...

Warren,I'll try to update my list, I suppose there are one or two that a lot of people don't get.

Adam, unfortunately the birders can no longer get to this end of the lake. Will watch out for redpolls, do occasionally get them in the garden.