Thursday, 25 November 2010

Cold and Grey at Papercourt.

A much colder day today, so with the added protection of a thermal layer, I headed over to Papercourt. As usual the main inhabitants on the sailing lake were countless Coots, numerous Tufted Ducks, Mallard, one female Wigeon, four male Pochard, a Little Grebe doing its usual disappearing act every few seconds, the occassional fly past by a Cormorant, Black-headed Gulls, Moorhen and quite a few Mute Swans.
The only species that came close enough for the lens was this juvenile Mute Swan enjoying a wash and brush up.

I met a lady birder who was visiting this location for the first time so after a brief discusion on what we had both seen so far we joined forces and headed off across the fields towards the Tannery. Our sightings were somewhat sporadic but Robin, Dunnock, Crow, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Song Thrush, Green Woodpeckers, plus lots of Blackbirds and Jays were noted. From the bridge over the Wey Navigation we added Mallard, Pied Wagtail, a single Fieldfare, Goldfinches, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and a few Siskins.
Along the towpath my companion spotted a Treecreeper. The lighting conditions, even under the depleted leaf canopy, were atrocious so I pumped the ISO up to 1600 and blasted off a few frames ... not the sharpest but in the left-hand image you can just make out the legs splayed out sideways with its claws attached to the bark to assist its movement upwards.

At Papercourt Lock we added a single Lapwing on the grazing marsh. A Wren called as it flitted between the pollared willows; a small party of House Sparrows dipped in and out of the hedgerow and a group of Parakeets called noisily from their distant perches. Not the ideal day for photography but a pleasant stroll in good company ...... thanks Shirley.    FAB. 


  1. You certainly overcame poor light to get some good shots of the Treecreeper Frank. They arn't easy in bright sunlight.

  2. The shot of the mute swan with the water off its foot is great.

  3. Hi Frank, the juvenile swan was certainly having a great time - enjoyed this series. Hope your weekend is a good one.

  4. That image top right is one fantastic shot. How cool to have caught the water in mid air.

  5. Great shots of the swans and the treecreeper. Looks like you had a wodnerful day of birding.

  6. Sounds like a good day Frank. Plenty of birds seen.

  7. Hi Frank..your Mute Swan shots are the a perfect water fountain of the webbed foot...what a good shot. : }

  8. I love the Mute Swan collage.. The foot fountain especially!

  9. Nice shots! Interesting blog, I'll spend some time checking it out :) The treecreeper is a difficult bird to photograph, I've tried! Cool to see a lot of the birds at your place is the same as we have here in Norway.

  10. It sounded like a very enjoyable outing Frank. A nice sequence of juvenile swan photos, I too particularly like the one with the water coming off the foot.

    Treecreepers are so well camouflaged!

  11. Awesome photos of the juvie swan, Frank! Well done w/ the creeper, too...last yr I saw my first and was it ever hard to get a decent shot (I didn't!), buggar is as busy as the nuthatches.

  12. Nice outing you had. Great shots of the Swan, and the Tree Creeper photos turned out nicely.

  13. Yes Roy, tricky little beggars in any conditions!

    Thanks Wilma .. they say timing is everything.

    Hi Beatrice. Rather it than me in that freezing cold water!

    Lois. Just one of those lucky moments.

    Thank Eileen and Keith. It was good to be outside despite the poor light.

    Hi Grammie. Cheers ... everything went downhill after those shots!

  14. Thanks Jen. My favourite shot of the sequence too.

    Oyvind. Welcome and thanks for joining the Early Birder. I agree the TC's are tricky to capture. Nice to hear we share similar species but I'll pop over in a while to see what else you have to show me.

    ShySongbird. Yes Jan, it was fun to have some unexpected company and share whatever was seen particularly the very well camouflaged Treecreeper.

    Hi Jann E. I didn't actually think any of the TC shots would be postable but for such a tricky little species you just have to keep trying more in hope than expectaction. I have to admit that the Nuthatch has also elluded me so far!

    Thanks very much Mona.

  15. Well I sure do like those pictures of the Mute Swan...and you did a heck of a job on that Treecreeper Frank!!

  16. Thanks Eve. I would have preferred a side-on shot of the Treecreeper!

  17. Hi Earlybirder
    I am not primarily a bird watcher though bird sighting and song add a huge amount of pleasure to my day out while fishing. I wonder if you are aware the sailing club at Papercourt have chopped down many mature trees and have cleared yard upon yard of scrub. I am trying to get Natural England to place some restraint on the sailing club regarding this matter. I see their actions to be purely selfish in their pursuit of eliminating wind shadows.
    Best Regards
    Kevin Daly


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


Related Posts with Thumbnails