I am not a great fan of joining large groups for a bird walk but today I accepted an invitation by Tony, a close birding friend, to join a local RSPB Group walk at Frensham Great Pond. Well as expected the 'members' were friendly BUT incessant chatting amongst a group of 25+ whilst trying to bird when the avian activity is sparse always tests my patience and I soon resorted to walking towards the rear of the pack.
Staring into bright sunshine across the Great Pond produced lots of Coot, Mute Swans and a few Great Crested Grebes with their stripey youngsters constantly calling. A single Lapwing flew over and through the wooded areas we located Robin, Chaffinch, Blue, Great & Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrest, Nutchatches calling incessantly, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Woodpigeon. On reaching a smaller pond we watched a pair of Common Buzzards climbing high into the sky on the mid-morning thermals and a Kingfisher darted across the water and disappeared out of sight.At a road lay-by I was able to get this digi-scoped shot of a resting Tawny Owl partially hidden in the distant trees. Definitely the star bird of the day. (Please click to enlarge).
Throughout the damp wooded areas there were quite a few different fungi . These two were bigger than a dinner plate.
Our walk returned us back to the Great Pond where we located a Goldeneye (an early returning migrant in eclipse plumage), Pochard (a male & 2 females) plus a flypast by a Grey Heron. With most of the group heading back to the car park I spotted 2 birds drop onto the close-cropped heathland and start to search for food. The two distinctive features that immediately caught my eye were the short tail and the broad buffish-white supercillia that joins at the back of the head in a v shape.....Woodlark. I was soon rejoined by most of the group and we watched this pair quietly feed for some while getting great views using the scope of the exceptionally long hind claw. Once everyone moved on I attempted to get closer but only managed this single record short before both birds were disturbed by another walker!