Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Tuesday 19th February
Another foggy and morning, with a very hard frost. The sun tried hard to break through as I made my way past the oasthouses on Heath Road, Barming. A small, mixed party of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits chirped away in the hedgerow as I passed by the pea field and a Jay swooped across the path into Oaken Wood. As expected, a fine male Bullfinch greeted me from the Brambles at the north end of the pea field, resplendant against the iced branches and foggy background. Again it was singing, more croakly that I've heard before. I also think I've found the reminants of two Bullfinch nests nearby so I will keep a close eye over the next few months to see if they become occupied. To my suprise two Lesser Redpolls were busy feeding on weed seedheads near the green gate by the Oaks. I was suprised as I'd been trying to relocate them since Wednesday without success. They appeared to be a male and female, and were extremley confiding, allowing me to get with 15ft at one point. I attempted a few shots but the camera couldn't seem to cope with the high contrast of iced vegetation and fog (always blame your tools!), so the photo below will have to suffice!Unfortunately I couldn't find a third bird, the one I suspected may have been a Mealy Redpoll. I'll take another look tomorrow. As I mentioned before on this blog, foggy mornings seem to highten the senses, I think locating the Redpolls was due in part to hearing their call and not being distracted by the constant flickering of birds in the hedgerow and high branches of the adjoining oaks. It was all very atmospheric, a Skylark heard singing probably in clear blue skies above the low-lying fog, the snort and gallop of unseen horses on Gallagher's racetrack, and the constant dripping of ice melting from the high branches. Give me a foggy morning any day of the week!