Sunday, November 20, 2005

Fermyn Wood



I'm sure the current weather conditions (hard frosts at night, bright, sunny, still days) aren't all that much fun for birds, but they make for fun photography. Visited Fermyn Woods (formerly known as Brigstock Country Park) this morning to try to see the Hawfinches (up to four) which are present at the moment.

We wandered around the site in search of the place where they'd been seen most recently, but again, it wasn't easy. After much scanning from a vantage point, one bird popped up on a blackthorn bush, where it tucked into the sloe berries. Great to see one of these big, chunky, pinkish finches, even if it was from some distance away. Impossible to say what the origins of these birds are, but there's been a definite influx of continental birds during recent weeks.

The park - formerly a sand pit, now landscaped - was full of scrubby vegetation, meaning lots of tasty natural food for thrushes and finches (see Song Thrush above, scoffing sloes). A few Siskins called overhead, a female Bullfinch nibbled on leftover blackberry seeds and a couple of Red Kites lazily flapped over the surrounding farmland (this is the heart of the East Midlands kite country).



The only things to spoil the visit were the dog-walkers who seemed to have little awareness (or consideration) of any other people using the park. A pack of six West Highland terriers roamed out of control through the bushes, sending birds literally flying and getting right on everyone else's nerves.

Of course, it wasn't the dogs' fault, but that of their owner. If I'd have thought of it a bit sooner, I'd have said something to her.

Something like: "If you can't keep your dogs under control, why not put them on leads - then you wouldn't have to go chasing them all over the place and we wouldn't have to listen to you shouting at them".

Grrrrr.

digiscoped photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995 + Leica Apo Televid 62 with 16x eyepiece