Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Friday, 11 December 2009

With the birds

First day with some time off from work, and the recent sun decides to hide behind cloud all day. It wasn’t going to keep me in though. I decided to go to a place near me called Stockgrove Park.
A popular place, with a small lake, some heath, and some mixed woodland; and loads of dog walkers too. Oh well, can’t have it all to myself.
It’s also home to birds. Never a great variety of species, but those that are there, more than make up for that. Finches, Tits and Robins, mostly, that follow you around near the lake, waiting to be fed. A lot of people put seed down for them, and they’ve quickly learnt that generally, people = food. And they seem pretty fearless; almost tame at times.

So, a few I’ve processed so far, from a lot of pictures taken. Not all were keepers; the dull conditions made sure of that.

This time of the year, there’s usually some good numbers of Mandarin Duck around.

It’s just a shame that the dogs chase them when they come close to the edge, so they spend most of their time on the small island on the lake.
A distant Treecreeper briefly showed himself,

melting into the tree bark, as he crept his way up the trunk.
And where there’s water,

there’s ducks. Mrs. Mallard, obligingly posing, hoping for food.
Mention food, and these chaps aren’t usually far away.

But the birds Keith; the birds!

Well, I came under the scrutiny of this Robin.

There were quite a few around, and one in particular was doing his best to keep all the other birds away from any food. But the Robins were outnumbered by these,

The Great Tit. They were everywhere, and not at all shy. Unlike this cousin,

the Marsh Tit. Although the lighter panel on the wing, makes me wonder if it’s the Willow Tit.

And the Blue Tits were plentiful as well.

And very inquisitive too. I love watching their antics as they climb amongst the branches.

I’ll finish for now, on this little chap. Very quick at times, the way they dart in, snatch some food, and then go.

The Nuthatch. They always remind me of a bandit, with that black stripe through the eye.

I had a great time this morning with the birds. Being so close to them was really magical; even when a Robin flew so close to my head, I felt his wings brush my hair. Maybe he was telling me to get my haircut.

Have a great weekend.


  1. Very nice lot of images there Keith, those Treecreepers arn't at all helpful are they.
    The Nuthatch is great, I have not seen or heard one during autumn and winter yet which is unusual??
    I think you may have a Willow Tit there Keith.

  2. Oh oh oh oh ..I have camera envy! What a gift you have..what an eye!! Wow everyone just jumps off the page!! Love the squirrel too!! Wonderful! Hugs, Sarah

  3. Not lost your touch Keith. Seems you deserved a good day and got one, all the best.

  4. Thanks Roy. I nearly missed the Treecreeper; just noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye. The Nuthatchs are plentiful in this little spot all year round. Great to be able to get so close to them.
    I'm hoping it's a Willow Tit; but not 100% sure.

    Sarah, thank you for your comment. Very kind of you.
    (mailed a 'yes' in reply)

    Cheers Adrian. I had a great a few hours while I was there. Those little birds gave me a real boost.

  5. Fabulous photos Keith. Interesting to note how many of the small birds are wearing rings.

  6. Great shots of the woodland birds Keith. Both the Marsh Tit? and Nuthatch are ringed I see.
    I have only ever seen three Nuthatches and neve photographed one...I think they may be in short supply down in Cornwall. I can trade of a few Stonechats for a Nuthatch or two :-)

  7. Good varied selection again Keith, good to see your efforts are reaping rewards.

  8. Hi Keith, Great photos. I've got a soft spot for nuthatches, with that clour combination of slate blue and apricot plumage. When I first moved to Durham 35 years ago they were very rare here but I'm glad to say I see them most days in the woodlands around the city ... or more often hear them in late winter and spring, because their courtship is quite noisy. We get them on our bird feeders occasionally.

  9. What fabulous photos Keith! The Nuthatch was fantastic but then they all were. I noticed the Willow/Marsh Tit was ringed as was the Nuthatch.

    How easy it must be to miss a Treecreeper I really must look more carefully!

    I loved the Christmas card on the previous post, as I have said before you could make a business out of them!

  10. Some fab shots there Keith. Treecreeper is superb - hard to capture. Well done.

  11. hi Keith,
    Wow man, that's a set of pictures. I can feel and guess how happy you were! These shots are wonderful and so many species. We happen to see only whooper swan and mallard at the moment together with redwings and starlings! Nothing more, and of course, this is when we have a bit of light.. So I enjoyed seeing yours shots, it reminds me how nature is beautiful!

  12. The Nuthatches are here and were here all summer. Now we had both red and white ones.

    Also, I did get some good photos of a Brown Tree Creeper a few days ago.

    Your bird photos are excellent and most of them Ihave not seen.

  13. Thanks John. I’ve noticed on previous visits quite a few birds have rings. I was talking to a lady walking her dog, and she mentioned that ‘ringing’ is done fairly regularly. I guess some of them don’t stray too far from the area.

    Trevor, thanks for your comment. I’ve had confirmation from Bedfordshire Bird Club that the bird is a Marsh Tit. Apparently the Willow is no longer found in Bedfordshire.
    I like the idea of a ‘trade’ lol

    Thanks Bob. It really is a great place for these birds, allowing really close views.

    Phil, thanks. Must be great to have them visiting the garden. Never had them here, yet; not enough trees close by.

    ShySongbird, thank you. It seems almost every bird has a ring on sometimes.
    Very easy to miss the Treecreepers, they blend into the trunk so well. Still trying to get a closer shot.
    Glad you enjoyed the card in the previous post.
    If I could find a good commercial printer, I’d love to do a few cards.

    Thanks Angie. They are difficult to spot and capture. Like a little mouse the way they silently creep about.

    Cheers Chris. It was a lovely experience being so close to them. Some were just inches away, waiting their turn for some food.
    Must be tough for you at the moment with those conditions.

    Thanks for your comment Abe. You get a great variety of birds where you are.
    One of the good things about blogs; we get to see birds we’d probably never see otherwise.

  14. all amazing shots but I love the one of the squirrel. cute how they hold food in their little hands/paws? feet? still cute!!

    have a blessed Sunday!!

  15. Thank you Doreen for your comment.
    Squirrels do have a certain 'aaaaawwwww' factor don't they.