Monday, 16 March 2015

Patch Birds.

For this week's edition of Nature Notes and Wild Bird Wednesday I am posting images of a few of the species that I regularly encounter during my patch walks around Epsom Common Ponds during the winter months. You can find more information about this local patch by visiting the 'Birding Location' page on my main blog 'Wildlife Watching with FAB'.

Cormorants drop in from time to time to fish for a meal and can often be seen perching on one of the old tree stumps, wings outstretched, hoping to catch some winter sunshine.

Grey Heron. Nest building was well underway in early February somewhere nearby.

A few Tufted Ducks regularly take up temporary residence during the winter but when the pond froze over in mid February they moved elsewhere.


At long last the Black-headed Gull has nearly switched into its adult summer plumage sporting its dark chocolate coloured cap.

The largest of our winter thrushes is the Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) which migrated here from Northern Europe during last October will very soon be returning northwards again. I have only recorded a few individuals this winter compared to the large flocks of Redwing which have continuously evaded the lens!

The Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos), whose dogmatic and varied song is a joy to behold, is a year round resident.

The Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) always sings from a high vantage point.

You can listen to the distinctive songs and calls of the Song and Mistle Thrush HERE.

Up until a few years ago sightings of Coot on the Great Pond were very infrequent but now it is unusual not to see at least two or three on every visit.

A very infrequent visitor on the pond is the Greylag Goose and a pair turned up at the end of last week accompanied by a single Barnacle Goose (see below), a definite rarity for my patch.

One of the regular Canada Geese wasn't very happy about the intrusion of these other geese and attempted to intimidate the much smaller Barnacle Goose, but it wasn't fazed at all by the Canada's boisterous splashing antics.  FAB.

19 comments:

  1. you see some beautiful birds.

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  2. I love visiting your patch ... I'd be curious to know how close it is to where you actually live. I have regular birding places (more than what I blog about because I'm such an amateur photographer), but I have to drive a ways. So I guess I'm asking for a definition of patch. Favorite place? Closest place? Anyway love all the birds but that black headed duck is so spiffy in his summer outfit.. He has to be my fav this week!

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    1. Sallie, the two ponds on Epsom Common where all these birds are seen is just a 5 minute drive from my home. This particular birding 'patch', together with several other sites falls within a 5km square area just south of home where I do most of my local wildlife watching.

      Yes, the male Tufted in its full finery is a beauty.

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  3. Thanks for taking us with you on your walk. You see quite a variety of birds when you go!

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  4. beautiful thrush! the tufted ducks always look like such rebels. :)

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  5. Some great birds there on your patch Frank. Love the in flight Heron with the sticks.

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  6. A most enjoyable visit. You do see a great variety of birds on your walk,

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  7. Your 'patch' has produced a lovely selection of birds today. Great shots Frank

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  8. What a wonderful group of birds! Great photos.

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  9. You have such a variety of waterfowl when you go on your visits. I wished I could be as lucky. Love every single one of them. Carol

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  10. Gorgeous selections of bird shots! Love the Greylag Goose!

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  11. Wonderful birds! Love the first shot of the cormorant, and the closeup of the coot!

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  12. Lots and lots of birds, fantastic images Frank.

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  13. Some very interesting birds you have to visit,

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  14. My late neighbor had a small farm and she had greylag geese who would come and spend the summer on our pond. I grew to really appreciate the waterfowl here over the last 10 years.. Love your patch walks Frank... Michelle

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  15. Estupendas imágenes...un abrazo desde Murcia...

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  16. Lovely photos of your patch. I love that first pic of the cormorant balancing though.

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I appreciate your comments.