Sunday, 18 December 2011

On the icy riverbank

Icy and cold,  not much chance of anything on the fell so I had a little wander down to the river at the park. I hoped there may be a plant or two where it could be a bit milder on the riverbanks, but they were just as fozen as the fell. In fact the footpath there was so icy it was treacherous. No new plants were noted so I had a play with the camera. The Whooper Swan from last winter which had been rung at York [see my note] has returned and if anything is tamer.
all the way from ... York
Last winter's Pink-footed Goose has also returned but there are only 2 Canada Geese present which he (or she) associated with so this year it's on it's own, on the grass bank on the park side of the river.
Pink-footed Goose
The river also held 41 Tufted Duck including a particulary noticable male with some grey in its flanks. It's normal Tufted Duck bill and head colour I think rules out any hybrid origins.

Usual and grey flanked Tufted Ducks
12 Goosander, 120 Mallard,
Grey Heron in riverside Willow
a Grey Heron and a couple of Cormorant  made up the rest of the birds present,

Common Gull
though  there there were in excess of 350 Black-headed Gull, plus a few Common, Herring and Great Black-backed Gull also there.

Herring Gull

 On the path by the nearby sewage works (which had 25 Pied Wagtail and a single Grey Wagtail) , 5 Bullfinch were hopping around or feeding on the adjacent weeds, with 5 Goldfinch and a couple each of Goldcrest, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tit in the adjacent trees.

Pair of Bullfinch 
Great Tit


  1. Aren`t Common Gulls smart looking birds, Keith ? Brill shot.

  2. They certainly are Dean. I think they always look rather gentle things when they are by themselves but blend in with the big 'rough' gulls when they are in a flock (if you know what I mean).