Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Snow and Birds!

With the recent cold weather the local birding's started to look up. It's interesting to see how weather extremes affect birds and the cold weather's certainly been pushing some interesting birds through, which even with the knowledge these movements are a desperate attempt to stay alive you can't help but be fascinated by it.

A Meadow Pipit on the foreshore by Chiswick Eyot and another 3 that flew over in the past two days are some of my favourite birds with their stuttering flight and olivey tones. They're also one of my favourite things about Wormwood Scrubs. Watching their "this way, that way, no this way" sort of flight above the grasslands their is a sheer delight and proof that beauty in nature can be found no matter where you are.

A snowy dog walk.

Yesterday also saw 5 Skylark go South over Chiswick House Grounds during a walk through the very beautiful snowy park. The pond was nearly totally frozen over and I can see why there have been so many Moorhen on the river of late. Other birds in the park included a couple of Redwing, a Grey heron in a tree and seemingly loads of Woodpigeons. There must easily have been 50 in a semi-associated cluster of small groups that all seemed quite agitated and would take flight at very little.

I discovered the error of my laziness when checking the londonbirders wiki page to find Neil Anderson had reported 3 Snipe on the Eyot as part of a WeBs survey. I usually don't bother to check the length of the Eyot as it means I have to double back on myself and I'm a lazy get. Sure enough though the next day I checked the whole of the island, peering through people's front gardens etc to get a good view and there plonked in front of me were 3 Snipe. One promptly flew right over my head in the general direction of my garden and the other 2 sat there begging to be photographed by someone with a 7D and 500mm lens. Instead they got a good helping of pretend shutter noise from my trusty Panasonic FZ 45. I also saw what I presume was one of the birds fly upriver a little later on.

 A Snowy and Icey Chiswick Eyot.

Two Snipe! Grazie Neil.

A very confiding Grey Wagtail was also strutting up and down a semi submerged log. With their extravagant gait and beauty in a somewhat subdued way Grey Wagtails are a favourite bird of mine. So I took a gratuitous amount of shots of this what I believe may be a 1st Winter.

A Mute Swan flying downriver provided an opportunity for some more flight shot practice and I think a couple of the shots turned out alright.
Through the Mist

And into the blue Sky.

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