Sunday, 15 January 2012

Stroll Alongside the River Mole.

Last week having picked up reports that both Goosander and Little Egret had been seen on the River Mole at Leatherhead I decided to take a stroll and see what was still around. Soon after leaving the car a Kestrel zipped past me and disappeared into the woodland and it took a while before I heard the sounds of any other avian species.

Very occasionally the sun broke through the cloudy sky and the riverside vegetation took on a warmer looking hue but I was glad to be well wrapped up against the cold north-westerly breeze. At Thorneycroft Bridge I finally logged Canada Geese in a nearby field, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits plus Robin, Wren and Chaffinch but no sign of any Kingfishers.

A little further downstream couple of Mute Swan cygnets drifted over to check out the interloper. While high overhead there was the constant twittering from a small flock of Goldfinches hunting for the odd seed or newly emerged bud amongst the bare branches.


 
A Grey Wagtail perched briefly before continuing its journey upstream. After passing over Town Bridge and then under the railway bridges my route took me onto Common Meadow where my boots slowly got heavier and heavier from the accumulation of mud. Black-head Gulls twisted and turned overhead while the piercing screams from the local Rose-ringed Parakeets interrupted the silence but no sightings of any Goosanders anywhere on the river. I did however eventually get views of a distant Little Egret feeding but it decided to move on across private land before I could get close enough for any photos.

These two fellows provided an excuse to rest a while before I commenced my return journey and added Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Jay, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Starling and Grey Heron to my day list.

When I arrived back at Thorneycroft Bridge the unmistakable short, sharp whistled 'zii' call of a Kingfisher got me searching every likely perching location .....
 
.... and I finally managed to focus on this very colourful fisherman as it patiently sat, partially hidden, amongst the Alders on the far side of the water. One day it will provide with an uninterrupted closer view .... until then this (heavily cropped) shot will have to do.

Have a good wildlife watching week .....  FAB.

20 comments:

  1. A lovely post Frank... wonderful images to see.

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  2. at least you got to see him AND catch him on camera! your kingfishers and goldfinches are SO beautiful! ours are too, but yours are so different! i even like your heavy horse friends! :)

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  3. If only to see a Kingfisher Frank. Never have. Perhaps one day. Carol

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  4. Wonderful walk and birding outing, Frank! I just love your goldfinches, they are pretty birds. Your Kingfisher seems more colorful than our Belted Kingfisher. Great photos.

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  5. Nice to get out and about Frank, I am still waiting for my year Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail..

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  6. Well at least your Kingfisher is recognisable and not a blur like most of mine. Nice shot Frank and hopefully he will be sat in the open next time.

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  7. Hi Frank! Your kingfishers are so striking...incredibly vibrant against the winter woods. (Loved the horses too...).

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  8. A very nice post, Frank! Love the horses and that Kingfisher!

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  9. Frank for such a tight cropped shot, you sure got a sharp as a tack image of the Kingfisher. What a beauty. Your stroll looks like it brought you some wonderful meetings with some outstanding looking birds, as well as those two strong looking horses. Hope your week is splendid.
    If you get a chance, you might enjoy my 4 posts from this past week of my visit to thousands of Sandhill Cranes~

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  10. Great post Frank, your images show the walk so well.
    Very enjoyable.

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  11. Sounds like a nice stroll Frank and some lovely shots to go with it.

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  12. It is fun to be out walking with you and your camera again. Great images. Even the bridges are so pretty.

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  13. Hi Frank...very nice to catch up with the Kingfisher...I have seen a lot of the UK blogger wishing they could get a good a shot as that ; }
    Grace

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  14. What an evocative picture essay! – Tim

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  15. Thank you for taking us along on your adventure. Sounds like a wonderful day. Your images are a delight to view! So glad you were able to see the Little Egret and Kingfisher. Lovely series of photographs, Frank!

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  16. Just happened on your blog...what fun to take a trip somewhere on a cold snowy day in South Dakota, USA!
    I have the same trouble trying to get kingfisher photos, they are not very cooperative at all. Even with the twigs and branches in the way, he is a gorgeous spot of color.

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  17. Hi Everyone. Many thanks for all your kind comments.

    I have just returned home from viewing 4 Short Eared Owls and a Barn Owl in the fading light ... once again, too far away for any suitable pics ... that's the fun of birding and photography! FAB.

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  18. Lovely stroll indeed, Frank!!

    I love the friendly looking ponies & the little Martin.....his colours & his character are truly charming!!!!!!!!

    ciao ciao elvira

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  19. Thank you Elvira. Ciao ciao FAB.

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  20. Oh, I have to say I love the piebald horses! The kingfisher is gorgeous also. What a nice stroll you had. Thanks for taking us along!

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

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