Thursday, 29 October 2009

Hunt for Thrushes & Finches.

This morning I thought it was about time I took an early stroll into the gardens (RHS Wisley) before starting work to see if there were any new migrant Thrush or Finch visitors to be found. I started with a brief excursion onto Battleston Hill where in the understory of the old Oaks and Pines there a masses of colourful Maples.
The large seed feeder was being visited by Great & Blue Tits (but I only managed to snap the former), plus a brief flypast by a Nuthatch.
Robin and Dunnock were flitting through the low undergrowth while I enjoyed the sight of this very cheerful yellow Mahonia lomarifolia.
As I headed uphill towards the Fruit Fields and the Arboretum (Stage 2) Great Spotted Woodpecker called from overhead while a Song Thrush, Woodpigeons and the first Redwing was located high in one of the trees. A small flock of Greenfinches and a single Pied Wagtail also flew over shortly followed by a noisy gang of exotic green Rose-ringed Parakeets.
The Arboretum holds a large collection of Malus and Sorbus and it was pleasing to see the vast array of berries that will be food for our resident species and the winter migrants. Below is one example of Malus x Zumi 'Professor Sprenger' absolutely dripping with fruits.
A few Blackbirds were foraging through the trees and I gained some distant views of more Redwings and the first autumn sighting of a handful of Fieldfare again perched high in the tree tops together with a Mistle Thrush and a small flock of Starlings. There is a long line of Alders marking the boundary between the Fruit Fields and the Arboretum and it was here that I spotted a group of around 20 Siskin buisily feeding. They are very flighty and as I attempted to get closer they promptly moved further away. Using the bins I scanned all the Chaffinches but couldn't find any interlopers (e.g. Brambling). Other residents seen included Jays, Crow and Collared Doves.
I will need to find some time next week to make a further foray to check out any new visitors, but what I really need is a much bigger lens to be able to capture these wary birds from a distance...some hope in the current financial climate!
On my return journey via the Herb Garden I came across this large Bee artistically created from willow wands, one of many natural sculptures throughout the gardens.
I did however take some pics of the various food sources in the Arboretum larder and I will put a post together when I have more time. FAB.


  1. Hello Frank I see you have been out and about. The fall colours are really beautiful and is something we do not get there. Our leaves go from green to brwon and fall off.

    What beautiful pottery in your previous blogs. I love stolling through these places and seeing how things are mad.

  2. Hi Frank,
    you did a fantastic birding tour and saw or heard so many species. I'm happy to see that you are getting some of our redwings, but you could still get more. They are everywhere nowadays in Reykjavík.. So many of them.. It is the same with common wrens and blackbirds, I think we have never seen so many of them in the city!

  3. Nice post, Frank. The fall foliage photos are wonderful.

  4. Well, you found your target species frank, well done. Brabling will be with you soon!

  5. What a larder of berries! If that don't bring some visitors, nothing will.
    Well done with the Redwing. I'm still waiting for the Fieldfare round here. Shouldn't be too long now.
    Good selection of birds spotted, including the Siskins!
    Exciting time of year this.

  6. Joan I'm very sorry to learn that you don't experience the full colours of autumn. It definately wouldn't be right without these stunning changes.

    Chris. Definitely looking forward to more of your Redwings heading over here. I see you managed some excellent shots of the Wren. Well done my friend.

    Thanks Mona. have some more colours to share very soon.

    Warren. I'll keep my eyes peeled for the Bramblings.

    Keith. Compared to Epsom Common with little or no berries the RHS Garden is a veritable larder waiting to be consumed. Who knows what will turn up?


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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