Saturday, 29 November 2008


Here's that pair of little Grebes (click for bigger as always), swimming across the mere. For once they're not swimming directly away from my camera lens!

Also, here's one of the pair of kingfishers. Not a good photo (far away and very dim light) but it's nice to see them nonetheless - and I have every time I've been down recently.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

woodpecker behaviour

Popped down to the reserve lunchtime today during a lovely sunny spell. Went to my post on the far bridge and waited. Sure enough after 10 minutes, the great spotted woodpecker turned up. I've decided that I particularly like the beautiful brightly coloured birds - last year I was interested in the kingfisher but haven't seen it for months. Anyhow the woodpecker perched for a few seconds on a higher flat branch, possibly assessing the dangers around it (can an 'it' assess?) and then flew directly to the spot where I'd seen the small hole before. There was a flurry of what seemed like woodshavings and then it seemed to be going backwards and forwards - whether marking territory or squeezing backwards into its small hole. It then disappeared from sight. Sometime I'll have to go into the parkland on the other side to get a better view but it's a bit of a bother. In the next 10 minutes there were a number of visitors to this specific bit of the dead tree tops - it seems quite a social area, though I don't know how welcome they all are at the meeting - wood pigeons, blackbirds? eating what looked like scrambled egg but I doubt this and magpies. Funny how I perceive birds differently: I really like the "beautiful" ones; I dislike the ugly black ones and I'm just about to appreciate a chicken - for lunch!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Two Little Grebes

There's usually one Little Grebe on the mere, but at the weekend, I saw a pair for the first time. They're small and shy and I didn't have a sufficiently big lens to get a picture of them, but look out for the small brown things diving in the Mere and coming up with fish.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

'Tis Great

I saw the woodpecker straightaway again today - as I know where to find it and I've got the 'jizz' of what it looks like. What I saw was a female great spotted woodpecker (red undertail feathers) according to my bird book. It had no red cap or red nape of head. It was virtually at the top of the dead tree trunk and I noticed that it was poking its beak continuously into the same hole. It was hard to see as it was round at the side a bit, so I think I'll try and look for it some time from the other side of the river. In fact, I've discovered I can see these trees from my flat with my stronger binoculars!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

great or lesser?

I saw a woodpecker today in their usual spot - the tall dead trees at the far end of the site. I have heard a very loud knocking made by a woodpecker in the past but had never seen one till today...This was definitely a woodpecker but was pretty small - smaller than the collared doves in the tree. Looking back on the blog, it is a great spotted woodpecker that has been sighted, as far as I can see - but I would have guessed this was a lesser spotted, from its size