Friday, 17 January 2014

Lunchtime at Maple Lodge

After spending the morning working on a presentation at home and seeing England humiliated AGAIN by the Australians at cricket decided I needed cheering up. I still hadn't got redpoll this year and they had been reported with the growing siskin flock.
It was actually very busy down the reserve as there was a visiting flock of birders. I nipped past them whilst they were studying the area round Teal Hide. I did spot Geoff Lapworth though who put me onto the siskin flock in the paddock. When I got there the flock was in two or three groups feeding high up in the alders. They were reasonably mobile, not being helped by a kite flying over and moving them on. After about 20 minutes I guess, including playing redpoll calls over my portable speaker, I got nothing more than male and female siskins. I would guess the flock in total was well over a hundred.
Finally I picked out a different looking shape high up in the trees to the left. Light was against me so I couldn't definitely call it a redpoll but it looked right. Moving closer I could see another group of 5 or so birds lower down. Now, without the light burning out the colour I could make out the red forehead, lighter belly, streaked flanks and larger size. I took a few record shots, all at a reasonable distance so not great but clearly lesser redpolls.

Not much else around but i did find this rather nice wren down by Rotunda Hide.

Up to 127 for the year, and tomorrow with a work-party day i'm targeting grey wagtail and reed bunting...