MONDAY Ist FEBRUARY 2010
A brief lunchtime visit to Painshill. I had seen on Phil's blog that there had been Goosander at Painshill, so as it is only 5 minutes from home and it was a sunny day, I though I'd pop down there at lunch time. The Goosander had gone, but I wasn't disappointed as there was plenty of other bird activity. I hadn't even reached the entrance when I saw a small flock of Redwing down by the River Mole, foraging among the fallen leaves and twigs.
Also from the Mole footbridge, I could see a mixed flock of finches in the trees; Goldfinches and probably Siskin and Redpoll too.
Once inside the park, I found the lake largely frozen, and watched Swans and ducks on the ice and in the water. There was also a lot of activity from Long Tailed Tits, which I never tire of watching, and Nuthatches.
Coming back through the woods, a Buzzard was calling, but didn't show himself. Then I saw a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in the trees, and spent a few minutes trying to get a decent picture.
Another enjoyable five minutes was spent with this friendly Robin, who was difficult to photograph because he kept coming so close!
Then several Mallards came waddling up, presumably hoping to be fed. I thought they must have been very hungry, as two of them, a male and a female, had their tongues hanging out. On closer observation, it appeared that they both had a hole in the lower half of their beak, through which the tongue had fallen. Perhaps a genetic defect? They seemed to be feeding successfully.
It was an enjoyable, if short, visit, and I shall be back. I was also pleased to bump into Tricia while I was there (I had met her before at WWT Barnes), and she gave me a useful summary of Painshill's birdlife throughout the year. So tempting was it, in fact, that it was just the extra incentive I needed to sign up for a year's membership of Painshill, which I had been contemplating doing for some time. Thanks Tricia!