Sunday, 4 May 2008

Cycle birding along Eastville park

Today was another nice day, and I set out again on my cycle-birding trip. These days I just cant seem to stay at home and sleep the weekend away! I was a bit apprensive about the weather when I started but it soon cleared up into a lovely day - neither too cold nor too hot and I found myself drifting along cycle paths into a lovely park.

I soon headed into this path which passed onto a bridge, and looking over the bridge I came across a moorhen along with a few Mallards. It seemed to ignore me and get along with its chores, allowing me ample time to capture a video.

I moved on along the river, to pass some nice calm and invitig scenery
and onto a narrow bridge.

While on the bridge, I saw a flash of blue and looked up to see a Kingfisher fly past.That was my 4th sighting of a Kingfisher this year, yet I have not even a blurred picture of it to show.
The bridge opened out to the other side of the river, interrupted by a weir. It was so calm and nice that I stood there watching the water , listening to the sound of birds.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, another flash of blue descended into the trees by the bridge. I abandoned my cycle and set off after it. Coming back onto the bridge, I just managed to see the Jay before it flew into another clump of trees.
I followed it , and it in turn went a little further, never giving me a good pose but just about keeping me interested to follow. Another set of trees and up a hill..all the time taking me away from my cycle! Finally, almost mockingly it flew away over the hill, leaving me with only this shot!
I`ll get him another day! I returned to my cycle and resumed my journey. The track led on to a big open space with an artificial pond in the centre, I was thrilled to see that it was full of water birds. However, my atention was drawn first to a Grey heron standing nearby. I seem to be seeing a heron on all of my weekend trips now.
As you can see from the above picture, he didnt stay for long, and I focussed my camera on other candidates. There was this coot, which was feeding these chicks which looked more like moorhen chicks than coot ones..or do coot chicks look like that? (can someone please answer that in the comments if you know?)
..and then there were these Canada geese
and a swan, which very obligingly flew up to me and posed for all kinds of shots.
and of course, more moorhen
and more coots
and ducks
but also, there was this cute squirrel which came of the tree and posed for some good pictures
Having finally reached the end of the park, I decided to turn back.
I`d told you earlier about having seen a blackcap that wouldnt pose for a picture. On my way back, I saw another one, and this time I didnt let it go. I clicked a couple of pictures from far, but which when cropped, clearly shows him off!
I also saw a mistle thrush on the same tree
The elusive one on this trip however, proved to be a wren which jumped out in front of me and sat in tantalizing positions, but my camera was not in hand. By the time I got the camera focussed , it got away.
I enjoyed the spring air and its lovely sights on the way back. If the weather holds good, I plan to come along this route on my way to another location, soon enough. I hope I`ll get as much birds on that day too.

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