I didn’t have a great deal of time spare today, but with blue skies and good light levels I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to get out with the camera. I headed for the local lakes again, in search of grebes or perhaps some of the scarcer duck species.
No such luck with either of them, but I did manage to track down a mixed flock of long tailed tits, nuthatch, treecreeper, goldcrest and chiffchaff. That’s right – chiffchaff. It’s one of the warbler family, and until a decade or so ago they were very much a summer visitor to the UK. They are no longer a rarity in winter, as they join in with these travelling flocks of small birds. I’m sure they struggle, as they don’t come to feeders like the others generally do (treecreeper excepted). It was certainly a cold start for this one – we’ve had a few days now of overnight frosts which must make it hard going finding enough insects to survive. Still, it seemed active enough with no signs of poor health, so must be doing something right.
I was followed around the trail by a robin, that had obviously learned that clumsy humans are really good at turning over the fallen leaves as they walk along a path. I watched as it swooped down into my footsteps to search for any disturbed grubs or insects. I gave it a bit of a helping hand by dragging my boot across a larger area before I left – to give it plenty of opportunity to search. The robin was happy to hop around no more than a few feet away, and at one point treated me to a song!