Monday, 9 November 2009

Last early am pre-work walk?

Last Thursday I made my last pre-work walk around part of the gardens at RHS Wisley with the moon still showing above the trees in the cold sky.
My first stop was at the rear of one of the model gardens as there appeared to be some avian activity nearby. In the trees high above came the rattling calls from two Mistle Thrushes, plus the 'kick..kick' call from a Great Spotted Woodpecker. These were soon joined by a Jay, Magpie, Starlings, Fieldfare and a small group of Greenfinches. Down at eye level a Robin briefly posed for me.
A Redwing dropped into a nearby tree but swiftly departed without partaking of the abundant fruits. (Not a brilliant shot but it will have to do until I can get closer.)
The signs of autumnal change were everywhere and as I headed for the Arboretum Goldfinches 'twittered' as they flew purposely overhead.
A view from the 'Fruit Mound' looking down the Piet Oudolf borders towards the Bi-Centenary Glasshouse. (Please follow this link to see what is inside this structure)
An attempt to capture a rainbow indicating that there is damp in the air.
In a recent post 'Hunt for Thrushes and Finches' I failed to get any photos of the recently arrived Fieldfare. I didn't fare much better on this visit but believe me the following shot is not leaves on this tree!
These are Fieldfare (I just need a bigger lens and a steadier hand!)
Other sightings included Blue, Great and Long Tailed Tits, Rose-ringed Parakeets, Woodpigeon, Crows, Jackdaws and this single Mute Swan circled overhead.
On the ground I was surprised to find some 'windfalls' as in recent years all the fallen fruit has been promptly cleared up in order to keep pathways tidy. Let's hope they stay there for the resident and winter migrant birds and the local mammal population to enjoy throughout the coming colder months.


  1. The fieldfare shot has very nice light.

  2. ...lovely photos. I have a lot of those "leaf bird" shots too. That's quite a large flock. I guess they stay together as flocks through the winter. I like the glasshouse structure (we call them greenhouses here--or conservatories, and I always love being in them in the dead of winter).

  3. Lovely series of photos! I like the colors and lighting. There's just nothing like fall for beauty.

  4. Thanks JPT, I tried my best from a long way away!

    Hi Kelly. Approx 20 to 30 Fieldfare around the gardens and they are very sociable thrushes. I have now added a link in the post so that you can check out the zones inside the 'conservatory'. Let me know what you think. FAB

  5. Those Fieldfare are hard to 'sneak'' up on when they first arrive. I usually have better luck in the new year.

  6. Mona. Thank you.

    Warren. I'll try to wait! I'm sure a better moment will come along.

  7. Hi Frank, I was going to echo Warrens comment about Fieldfares being so hard to get close to. I've not managed a decent shot of them or Redwings so far Something to aim for! (-:

  8. Hi Jen. Now I've got more time on my hands I might just get lucky but I will probably have to resort to digiscoping to get a decent capture.

  9. Some great sightings on your 'walk' Frank. Not caught up with the Fieldfare here yet.
    I like the shot of the rainbow over the glasshouse, and the Piet Oudolf border.

  10. Yes Fieldfares are not very helpful when you are trying to get a decent shot of them. They tend to fly off at the slightest movement. Anyway Frank, now you can go for "later" morning walks. {:)

  11. Keith. Just hunt down the berries & you'll find Fieldfare. There was a much better rainbow during my drive home but I couldn't stop anywhere!!

    Roy. Does that mean I have your permission to have a lie in?

  12. GM Frank
    Some lovely colourful shots which capture Autum beautifully, I agree Fieldfares and Redwings are really twitchy and to get good shots takes a lot of time. (I'm still trying) Just have to take it slow and easy. Anyway well done nice post.

  13. Hi there- I am so glad I found your blog! I am just getting into UK birds now and I am pleased to have found a site that has great photos and brilliant writing too. I look forward to trawling through your previous posts and also getting your new ones.

  14. Monty. Thanks, but I see you managed to get some shots on your recent walk.

    Bemused26. Welcome and thank you for joining "The Early Birders". Not sure I can compete with your superb photography but hopefully the content will be of interest.

  15. Lovely autumnal photos here Frank and I particularly like the Fieldfare and (who could resist?) the Robin :)

  16. ShySongbird. Thanks Jan. Hopefully I will get closer to these jittery Thrushes over the coming weeks. Robins, well they seem to pop up for a portrait everywhere!

  17. brought back some nice memories..In the early now X husband got an English speaking union scholarship..went to Reading university..spent time in wisley ..werent birders then..Horticulture was our game..
    would love to go back..I loved living there the year we did.

  18. Hi dAwN. Very pleased I was able to bring back good memories of RHS Wisley for you. After 13 years working there I also have many memories to keep me going. FAB


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


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