Saturday 9 February 2013

That's What I Call Birdwatching!

The chance of seeing a bird as rare and elusive as the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was too good to turn down, especially as they are, sadly, a fast declining species.  This is believed to be the fault of Greater-spotted Woodies, who are bigger, and more dominant and even predate the Lesser's chicks.
  So in the morning yesterday we - Iain, my father and I - left for Bushy Park.  It was an hour-and-a-half train journey, but the weather was fair, so hopefully a change of ISO down to 400 would be possible.

We arrived at Bushy Park just before eleven. As we were walking to the area where we knew you could see the wee birds, there were some people already there.  We asked if the L-S-W had been seen, they told us that it had, and that it was just around the back of one of the trees in front of us -that's the good thing about this hobby, fellow birdwatchers are always very helpful.  After two minutes out popped a small bird, I took over ten shots in the few seconds it was there, unfortunately obscured.

We spent the next twenty minutes trying to pin it down again, we failed but had great fun.  In that time, I spotted two Greater-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Redwing, Wren, Jay and Siskin.  The Treecreeper walked within two foot of the G-S-W, while the Nuthatch was further up the same tree!
 By now another birder had arrived.  He said that he had heard the Male L-S-W drumming while walking here through the park.

 Around the Park we saw; Mistle Thrushes, Parakeets, Greenfinches, Parakeets, a Fox, Green Woodpecker, Skylark and more Parakeets.  Ring-necked Parakeets were even more ubiquitous than feral pigeons.  There seemed though to be a lack of Deer, only a distant herd near the edge of the Park was seen.

There were plenty of Jackdaws around, I tried -with no success- to photograph them.  As I was doing so my uncle Iain suddenly called me; "The Owls showing well in the tree!", I was quickly up and after him, they had quite obviously found a Tawny Owl.  When I got there I was gutted to see it had gone back inside.  No surprise as the tree was filled with Jackdaws and Parakeets.  The Jackdaws seemed to want to get in the hole, and I quite expected to see the owl chase them, no joy.

                                                           "Anyone home?"

 Had to put a Greater in to complete the set!

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