Friday, 6 March 2009

Friday 6th March

Another lovely sunny Friday morning and a pleasant walk into work. Twenty-three species seen in total but lacking Fieldfare off the list, the first time since end-October. Individual Magpies, Yellowhammers and Blue Tits were all observed with nesting material in their beaks.....is winter over?! A lone Redwing was all that remained of the huge flocks I'd been watching only a few weeks ago.
I guessed a few butterflies might be on the wing, so feeling lucky I ventured over to Ditton Quarry at lunchtime. A 'nest' of Common Lizards were curled up under a strip of roofing felt out I'd left out on a sunny bank way back in the summer. I couldn't quite make out how many there were - all legs, heads and tails! It was looking fairly quiet on the bird front, a Kestrel hovered overhead and a pair of Long-tailed Tits noisly guarded a bramble, potential nesting site I assume. However I heard the call of a Redpoll, I'd assumed they'd gone - the Fieldfares and Redwings had disappeared overnight and in my head I was thinking spring! I quickly latched on to a Lesser Redpoll but it moved off through the Alders and was gone as quickly as it had arrived. Determined to track it down I scoured the scrub for another 10 minutes and eventually struck lucky with a flock of 12 Redpolls feeding acrobatically in a lone Alder. No sooner had I got the camera focused on one of the birds when a police helicopter suddenly appeared and 'buzzed me' for a couple of minutes, sending the flock back of into the trees. Eventually the cops decided I wasn't the guy they were looking for, 'buzzed off' and the birds returned. Two of the birds looked slightly larger, bulkier and paler to me, possibly Common Redpolls, but the plummage within the flock was quite variable and I'm no expert. I've added a number of photos below of putative Common Redpolls (and I've got more from most angles if anyone can tell me what I should be looking for) - any comments?




9 comments:

Ken said...

Hi Adam.
I am not sure, but at a glance it could be a Mealy Redpoll, coming into it's spring colours. I don't see them that often so I am not up on them too well. Good picture of the Lizards.

Warren Baker said...

Ha! adam, snap I also got a pale looking Redpoll, and I was in the same quandry as you! I decided upon Lesser Redpoll, only because its more likely. see pic later, on my blog.
Extraodinary Lizard photo!!

Greenie said...

Adam ,
For once , I totally agree with Warren . That is a very unusual Common Lizard shot . It looks to me as if the whole lot have hibernated together under that piece of felt .
I'm meeting with some reptile people tomorrow and will ask if they have seen the like before .

Steve said...

Look good for Mealy Redpoll to me Adam. Nice one. Great Lizard shot.

Steve said...

You've got Lizzards you lucky b****r. Don't know about the Redpoll.

Dave Jordan said...

Hi Adam
Love the lizards, nice site will be calling in from time to time
Dave J.

Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

I'd go for Mealy Redpoll, very pale bird.

Adam said...

Thanks fellas for all you comments. Consensus was Mealy and having seen three today in same location I'm happy with this conclusion.

Adam

Mike H said...

Hi Adam

Just found your site great work. Like the others just love those lizards.