Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Redpolls and Siskins

Amwell was a bit quiet so I walked along the towpath towards Tumbling Bay. I stopped for a quick  look for the Bittern at the Bittern Pool. No sign of the Bittern I'm afraid, but its place had been taken by a Grey Heron in one of the freshly-cut bays. The floating reeds had obviously not settled down, as it was clearly very uneven underfoot causing the heron to raise its wings to maintain its balance.

Then, wafting through the air was the distinctive wee-ooo call of Siskins. A flock of about 50 birds circled overhead and eventually landed high in the Alders on the other side of the canal. Then, as luck would have it they gradually, a few birds at a time, moved across to the lower Alders next to the gate by the James Hide.

This presented a tricky problem as the sun was the other side of the railway and therefore from the wrong direction, coupled with the fact that most of the birds were deep inside the tree making focusing difficult. It soon became apparent that about one in ten of the flock were in fact Lesser Redpolls and, although it was hard and frustrating work, I did manage to get a reasonable shot of each.

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