Saturday, 11 December 2010

Walk In The Park.

A recent stroll in Richmond Park on a chilling but sunlit afternoon started out quite bleak with just Jackdaws and Crows pecking through the fallen leaves under the woodland canopy and attempts to capture an image of a small mixed group of Fallow Deer feeding was thwarted by the depth of the brown undergrowth, their constant movement and interruptions by other walkers so only a rear end view!
Despite this disappointing start to my leisurely walk it actually turned out to be a series of unexpected photo calls. So here are a few images [ Click for larger views] to set the scene for some future posts.

First up were two Red Deer stags enjoying some quality time together .....
..... one sleeping with his friend on sentry duty. Without getting too close I stood and watched some interesting interaction between these two ... so watch out for a future post.
As I crossed the open parkland a Kestrel hovered overhead hoping to spot a tasty meal but moved on to search somewhere else.
When I reached the larger of the two Penn Ponds most of the water was frozen over with nearly all of the inhabitants (Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Mandarin Ducks and Black-headed Gulls) some distance away so I was doubtful that any close photography would be possible ... but you never know!
 While waiting for some closer action on the pond I was visited by a couple of Ring-necked Parakeets.
A Coot finally decided to brave the ice and I spent quite a while watching this character and eventually coaxed it to get much closer to the lens by scattering some seed .... more pics to show in a follow up post.
Initially the view over at the smaller pond looked even bleaker ... more ice and no ducks in view BUT all that was to change.
First I was greeted by Mr. Crow giving me the once over .... "So who are you starring at?"
As I got closer to the edge of the pond I was delighted to see that there was some clear water and a few species that I needed photos of including this female Pochard who swam over towards me.
 Next I spotted a (Northern) Shoveller tentatively pacing slowly across the frozen floor to get into the water.
Not just one but a group of 7 Shoveller were paddling round and round in circles as they dredged the surface with their spatula shaped bills. I took a lot of shots of these guys .... so something to show in future.
As the activity both on the water and in the air increased a Moorhen popped out from behind me to see if I had anything to eat .... and of course I had. 
When there is any chance of a free meal you can be assured that the Black-headed Gulls will get in on the act.
When I turned around to look over the main pond once more there was just a lone Mute Swan on the ice.
With plenty of shots in the can it was time to take my leave as the late afternoon sun shone through the woodland ...... the end to an interesting and productive stroll.   FAB.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking us along on your delightful stroll. The hovering kestrel is lovely. Wonderful Northern Shovelers! Sounds like an adventure filled with plenty of beautiful birds. Terrific post ... as always!

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  2. Yes, that was a very productive stroll which resulted in some excellent images. Good work, Frank!

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  3. Plenty of teasers there for the future Frank.
    Love the shot of all the Shovellers together. A colourful bunch.

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  4. Great images again! I especially like the parakeets. I look forward to the in depth reviews of all of your subjects. What a rewarding walk!

    I'm out on the high seas again so am only able to connect to get into blogs when in US ports. I have email 24/7, but not enough band width via satellite to load your and other blogs. So, don't think I have stopped coming by to take a look, I am just always waiting to do so at the next US port.

    Lois

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  5. I enjoyed your post, Frank. Sounds like you had a really productive walk. You aroused my curiosity by the photos you show and am looking forward to seeing more.

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  6. Frank I have to say you had a fantastic walk. I would have to drive to Mustatatuck NWR to see any deer and probably only does. It's snowing right now and looks to be an inch so far. Coming in hard from the west. Have a good weekend. Carool

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  7. Lovely shots of the Red Deer I must pay the park a visit in the new year.

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  8. What an incredible day you had!!! That Crow cetainly is giving you a once over ;), and the Parakeets, wow I did not ever imagine that they would live over your way, as I think upon them as a warmer climate bird, gorgeous too! The Shovellers, what beautifully marked birds. Congrats on a great series of beautiful andinteresting captures~

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  9. Another wonderful assortment today - the shovellers really caught my eye! Laughed at the crow giving you the once over. You definitely know some of the most beautiful places to explore!

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  10. Julie G. Every stroll is an adventure ... you never know what will show itself. Glad you enjoyed the post

    Thank you Mona.

    Keith. Delighted to get reasonably close to this colourful duck at long last.

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  11. Lois. Sorting out the next few posts and pics may take a while. Glad you can keep in touch whenever possible while at sea.

    Hilke. Well you have to keep the audience wanting more .. don't you!

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  12. Carol. Fortunately I don't have to go far to lacate 3 species of Deer. This brief change in weather has provided an opportunity to get out recently BUT forecast is not good for the latter part of this week. Hope you don't get too much snow.

    Anthony. If and when you decide on a visit let me know if you fancy a stroll and a chat.

    Mary. Parakeets .. very common locally and sometimes in the garden. Must do a post on them sometime. More pics on the Shovellers very soon.

    Shelley. If only the Crow could really talk..lol! On a good day the park is swarming with people but you can still find a quiet spot to enjoy the wildlife.

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  13. Thanks for posting some lovely photographs :). Interesting how a day that looks like it's going to turn into a total 'bust' ends in success, isn't it?

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  14. Gaina. I couldn't have put into better words ... Thanks.

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  15. You had a really grand day with an incredible variety. Those deer photos are super. Boom & Gary.

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  16. Thanks Gary. One of the very few sunny days recently!

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