Monday, 7 March 2011

Monday 7th March 2011

A beautiful crisp, sunny last.  What hadn't been touched by frost had been dabbed with dew, like on the Wood Pigeon feather above, a remnant of a Sparrowhawk attack.

A pair of Bullfinches fed near the oaks just N of the water tower and the hedgerow was alive with Great Tits and Blue Tits.

Thanks to John I got news that Waxwings were still present in West Malling, and having not had the fortune of seeing them in sunshine at East Malling I thought I'd go the mile or so off patch.  When I arrived a couple of hearses were being moved around, which kinda summed it up, it looked pretty much dead!  I could see where the Waxwings had being feeding, Cotoneaster berries littering the floor and car bonnets.

I glanced up at a Silver Birch next to the Cotoneaster and there were 3x Waxwings sitting quietly and unperturbed by the comings and goings below them.  A tap on a car window, and John's happy face beamed out at me - I jumped in and John pointed out another Waxwing hidden under the canopy of the tree.  Over the next 30 minutes or so 20+ birds descended on the bush, often flying off as quickly as they arrived.  Talking to some of the residents of the flats it seems they have been around for a week or so.

Here's a couple more - and thanks to John for finding them and for the updates.

Red eye - reflection of all those berries I'm sure

Stopping off at Bradbourne Lake on the way back I was amazed at the numbers of Coots on the lake, 40+ and four Tufted Ducks were a new addition.

Stuff dreams are made of (for Warren)

Finally, I'll be out looking for Saturn again tonight.  Using my scope I got excellent views of it - pretty mind blowing.  As you can see my skills at planetary photos are just as good as my avian ones ;-) 

Saturn located with the aid of Stellarium - just remember to enter your location otherwise you'll be looking at the wrong thing!


Kieron said...

Fantastic photos Adam, I am quite eager for morning to come around so that I can (Hopefully) catch a glimpse - I am not sure I will have great light at that time of day though.
I like the Saturn shot, did you manage to see Titan too? I was very surprised at how far out it was when I first saw it.

Greenie said...

Adam ,
Those Waxwing shots in the sun are stunning .
Sorry but I can't bring myself to use the same adjective for your stellar effort !

Alan Pavey said...

Nice photos Adam, it's great that there are still Waxwings around. What time was Saturn visible from and which direction was it, I'd like to try to find it as I've only seen it once before?

Adam said...

Thanks fellas - Greenie, when I get a lens the size of yours I'll be takingpics of all kinds of celestial bodies! Alan - I've been viewing Saturn between 22:30-23:30. I look directly east, locate the plough, then look for the second brightest star to the right (south), low down in the sky - it's the one with the rings around it ;-) Not very technical I know, but how else can I can describe it?! I downloaded the following free software which helped me locate it, just make sure you type in your location:

I've added this as a hyperlink to the post as well.

Best of luck


Warren Baker said...

I have to say it - GREAT PICS Adam!!! well of the birds anyway :-)

Paul said...

Hi Adam, nice Bullfinch pic there, and also very nice to see the Waxwings once again(I gave them a quick visit this morning, I counted 10 of them) Cheers.