I always look forward to birding during January and February. Cold, crisp clear days with beautiful soft lighting and always the prospect of some good photographs. It just didn't happen this year. Wind, rain and dull weather and a seeming lack of interesting birds. This part driven by a lack of a real cold spell to drive the birds south but also a function of my reluctance to venture out into the storms looking for them.
I did go out on Wednesday, not with any great hope but I had given a commitment to a friend, Jim, and I needed to make the effort and get out birding again. The problem was where to go that wasn't a foot deep in mud. We ended up at Warnham LNR up near Horsham and I will be forever grateful to Jim, for levering me out from sitting in front of the computer. I just needed a good bird and a picture opportunity to get me fired up again......... and it turned up
There is nothing like a bit of colour to brighten up both the day and the spirits. Lesser Redpolls are not that common on the south coast and when you do find them they usually stay in the tops of the trees.
It showed well and although there were the usual problems with branches in the way, I did get a couple of decent shots.
Even the Blue Tits and Robins suddenly seemed worth photographing.
|Robin - just in case you didn't recognise it!|
A scruffy looking Coal Tit stopped long enough for a photograph but I couldn't get clear shots of the Marsh Tit and Nuthatch that were also around the feeders. Nor could I piece together the full details on the Coal Tits leg ring.
Walking round the plantation later we also had an obliging Treecreeper.
Warnham is well worth a visit. It has always been good for photography, a place where you can get close to the birds without disturbing them but with recent additions, it now has a mix of seven screens and hides so gives even more opportunities. It costs £2 to get in but it's well worth the money. Whilst you are there have a look for some of the other wildlife. Bank Voles are guaranteed under the feeders and later in the year it's worth looking for the Willow Emerald Damselfly.