Thursday, 25 November 2010

Berry Raiders.

During a late morning stroll at Epsom Common yesterday I didn't see much avian activity apart from a single Grey Heron on the main pond, the usual noisy Jays, Magpies and Crows. Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren and a Dunnock also made brief appearances. There were lots of Blackbirds around and I could hear the distant call of a Redwing so I wandered in the hope of maybe capturing an image of one feeding BUT was actually greeted by six Grey Squirrels enjoying a feast on the Hawthorn stocks.   
For once their need to consume this ready made larder was more important and they paid little attention to my presence. I did eventually catch up with a few Redwing but not with the camera this time.

With little else to keep me occupied I headed over to Headley Common in search of the large Redpoll flock that has been present for a few days. By pure chance I headed in the right direction and intially found around 16 Lesser Redpoll feeding in the top of a birch together with one Mealy (another addition to the year list). Over the following hour I watched numerous small flocks (a total of about 80 birds) flitting high overhead but rarely perching long enough or low enough to enable a detailed view through the lens. 
These birds weren't as obliging as the Squirrels so the best I could do was to point the 70-300 lens at specks feeding around 80 feet overhead. Original image is heavily cropped.  FAB.

17 comments:

  1. Nicely done. I havent seen any Redpolls here in Canada this winter. They seem pretty unpredictable here.

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  2. Hi Frank.. those darn Grey Squirrels drive me crazy when they chew on my feeders,but you gotta love them, they are so darn cute!! : }
    Love the photos of them !!

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  3. The squirrels looked quite happy. :) Nice shots of happy squirrels.

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  4. Sounds like a lovely walk! I'll have to look up a mealy! ~karen

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  5. Hey Frank, I love the little squirrels with the red berries. It's been raining it for two day so seeing blue skies is nice. Carol

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  6. I went in search of Redpolls last week Frank, at Sandy. No luck, although a fleeting glimpse of something high in a tree, made me wonder.
    At least you managed to catch up with them, and get pictures.
    Lovely shot of the feeding squirrel.

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  7. Well done on the mealy redpoll Frank... How the hell did it get there? ;-) Coming from Iceland maybe ;-) Your squirrel panel is fantastic!

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  8. Lovely images, Frank! I am not very fond of gray squirrels but you are giving me a different perspective. Neat photos!

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  9. Well done on the Redpolls Frank! Ah, pointing the lens at a distant speck way above my head sounds so familiar :)

    The Squirrel photos are beautiful, the large one has to be one of the nicest I have ever seen of a Squirrel!

    I also thought the Dunlin on the last post was beautiful too. I have never managed to get that close.

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  10. LOVE the shots of the squirrel!!!
    Today we celebrat Thanksgiving in the US - and I just wanted you to know that I am very Thankful for you and the wonderful images you share with us!!

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  11. Nice shots! Cute photos of the squirrels.

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  12. I like Redpolls Frank, neat little birds, they make a lovely sounds when they all take off together.

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  13. Just got back to your last few posts Frank,and good to know all is ok.

    You got some super images there, I guess the break done the world of good,and your back with a vengeance.

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  14. Hi Everyone.

    I expect that with the increasing cold weather coming from the north more of the Redpoll species may filter into the southern UK and I'm sure many hardy birders will be out hunting for a Artic Redpoll.

    I appreciate that Squirrels are not eveyones favourites but they were fun to watch ... just glad they are not devouring anything in my garden ... yet! Cheers FAB.

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  15. I don't much like Grey Squirrels but they look good in your pictures, Frank. It's always a pleasure to see Redpolls too.

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  16. Hi Emma. I have just chased one off the patio!!

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