Monday, 5 December 2016

Raven Ravine - Genesis

Nights continue to be chilly so we were quite expecting everything to be frozen during the last couple of days. Lucky thing was, when its not shining directly in your eyes, there was also uninterrupted sunshine throughout daylight hours with the ice/frost readily turning to melt water.
 Here comes the Sun, Here comes the Sun
and I say it's alright!
The Beatles
video
But it was still early and would take time to soften things up below.
BLACKBIRD and ROBIN
waiting on the Solar Panels and watching for movement below.
Irrigation Pond
solid as a rock

and these young 'dark morph'
PHEASANTS
video
having the same problems as everything else.
Gravel Pit
ditto to above and similarly not a Waterfowl in sight.
 Best plan was thought to be heading for the Heath but one thing
we just cannot get our heads round - how do the Birds know
when you are about to/or just have pressed the shutter and fly off??
 The other of only c2
STONECHAT
recorded did stay ad was marginally more obliging, but for all the chill
 the Trees look fantastic in their coating of tinsel.
 An opportunist shot of a passing
RAVEN
as we were exiting before giving things a couple more hours to thaw out.
Had we done a little more 'thinking' and a good deal less 'cackling'
with some of the people we met at Longham on the last day of November,
 we may not have had to make a return visit to secure video footage
of the c3 
GREAT WHITE EGRET
which very luckily decided to stay put.
So, to utilise the waiting period that is precisely what we did and 
immediately managed to capture all 3 Egrets together (top image) 
which we didn't do on our first visit.
That Good Start was very quickly followed by a Bad Start as a
mist rolled in from nowhere, blotting out everything.
 Luckily it was short lived and as it lifted it was found that one of
the Egrets had shifted position.
video
Good for comparison in size between
Great White Egret and Little Egret,
video
but as we have the 'shakes' when drinking a coffee in the
warmth and comfort of
Slight Return II
video
video
what chance holding a camera steady, without a support, 
at passed 3 'o' clock on a
Cold and Frosty Morning
Good Morrow Masters All!
 A short interlude as a
CORMORANT
flew over and back to the original spot.
video
Timed to perfection, we were even lucky enough to catch a 
GREY HERON 
sneaking out of cover as well.
video
On our return to Parley Court Farm
more on a hunch than anything else we entered the 
Eco Recycling Works
rather than passing it by and saw what we had hoped to see, a
 FERAL PIGEON
 which (maybe surprisingly) is an addition to the
Ongoing November List.
In company was also a young
STOCK DOVE
video
As hoped, at the Gravel Pit we found a few
EURASIAN TEAL
taking advantage of the melt contentedly feeding in the margins,
video
and which were found to be a record count for this end of the year, c15 in total,
and how nice to see the males in full adult/winter plumage
sporting their gold quarter patches!
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