Friday, 15 January 2010

Raining along the Mole.


Yesterday I just had to get out so I made a return visit to the River Mole. It was raining and underfoot was mushy slippery ice so I wonder 'I am mad to even contemplate getting any decent sightings or photos in these conditions?' Undaunted I tread carefully and commence my stroll downstream. At the Vinnery the only sound is from a Grey Wagtail calling as it flies over. Well that's another species for the 2010 list and my my spirits are lifted further as I stand and watch a flock of Tits (Long-tails, Blue & Great) plus Blackbird, Redwing, Wren and Chaffinch busily feeding as they move around the shrubbery but the camera stays under the coat protected from the rain.

At the first bridge I catch a glimpse of lightening blue as a Kingfisher dashes by.

As the sign indicates, they nest in the river banks so maybe I might catch up with one perched somewhere later on, I can always hope!

The water level is fairly high and a fair torrent tumbles over this small weir as I follow a twittering band of Goldfinches high overhead using the bins.
 
A brief respite in the rain allows me a quick shot of a stationery Grey Heron with a pair of Mallard hiding nearby as two Moorhen, aware of my presence, promptly scurry away. Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling and a single Song Thrush are also noted nearby.

Crossing over the river via this bridge I scan the waters for signs of the Goosanders but nothing yet.

Out onto the open field the view looks fairly bleak, but specks of greyish-white in the water gets the heart rate pumping. Maybe I'm in luck...but it's still raining and the light is dismal. Over the half next hour or so I stalk these shapes, constantly diving and moving away from me.

On a number of occasions I get set up for a shot only to be interrupted by dogs and their attendants with obviously no idea why I'm croached down in the soggy snow concentrating on something in the water.

The Goosanders are eventually spooked and fly away up river towards the town so I eat my packed lunch before heading in the same direction. After a hundred yards I relocate two Goosander and fire off a few more frames for luck.





If there is one lesson I learnt it was don't expect too much when the conditions are this dismal and I also need to practise using manual focus. I promise myself to try harder in future.

The final stretch, with more rain...through the gate..along the path back to the car and then home again.

I had two more sightings of a Kingfisher flying up and down river but never perched so I thought I would share a shot taken late last year along the River Mole.

Have a good weekend, whatever the weather.   FAB

13 comments:

  1. Excellent day Frank. Those Goosander topped it all of. Cracking shots.
    And the Kingfisher.....maybe last years, but I'm still trying lol
    Nice one!

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  2. You made light of the gey weather Frank. Some good species located, nice to see the kingfisher made it through the cold spell.

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  3. Keith. It turned out far better in the end. You need a day's stakeout ar Rye Meads for Kingfisher!

    Warren. I'm trying to cope with grey days as best as possible. My January list is severely lacking ducks & waders but may put that right tomorrow...more rain is forecasted!!

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  4. Looks like you had a great day.
    Lovely scenery,fab birds.
    Those Goosanders are superb.
    John

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  5. Very nice photos Frank. We have 36 here today, and it's quite pleasant. The wind's blowing a bit though. I'd love to get close enough to a Kingfisher to get a decent photo! Yours is very nice.

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  6. Well done Frank, your efforts were rewarded.
    Nice shots of the Goosander, and you have done some forward planning for the Kingfisher.

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  7. Very nice photos! I'm jealous of the kingfisher one even if wasn't taken 'that' day...had a keen sighting of one weeks ago but it didn't allow any photos. Even in the dismal weather one can find nature's beauty out and about; isn't that marvelous?! Nice day.

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  8. Beautiful walk around the River Mole Frank, with some great images to accompany it. Love the Goosanders and Kingfisher looks a fab place for birding

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  9. I just love the bridges. The sawbills are spectacular, too.

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  10. Beautiful day, lovely scenes along your path and your grande shots of the wildlife species you encountered along the way, splendid post Frank~

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  11. JRandSue. Thanks John.

    Mona. Rain and more rain here! One day I'll get really close to a Kingfisher.

    Roy. Cheers. The gamble with the weather paid off eventually.

    Jann. So often you just get a glimpse of blue as they fly away from their perching post. Having found the right location the rest may just be down to a bit of luck.
    Keep watching & I'm sure the moment will present itself.

    Monty. Often surprised by what can be found so close to habitation and traffic!

    Steve B. Lovely species to watch as they constantly dive for fish.

    Mary. Thank you. Will be interesting to capture the scenery in the Spring.

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  12. Just been catching up again Frank and I enjoyed the posts that I missed. You have had some lovely outings recently despite the inhospitable weather!

    I loved the Heron photo here and on the earlier post, a fascinating bird, I think. Lovely Goosander shots here too. Great shot of the Kingfisher even if it was taken last year. I spent all last year trying to find one but no luck at all despite going to the right places!

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  13. Hi Jan. Well you can't let a little bit of snow dampen the need to get out and watch nature, now can you! The Kingfisher shot was one of those lucky moments (point, press & then he flew away)but I'm looking forward to the next encounter.
    You do however have one up on me....Fieldfare captured in your garden. Great shots in the snow.

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