Thursday, 15 October 2009

The Rest of the Walk and Two New Birds!

This post continues our walk around Draycote Water with the addition of some photographs I took when we returned there on two more occasions since. It is a place I will return to again and again, it is within easy reach of us and I know there are often unusual and rare birds seen there.

There has been a flurry of excitement at Draycote lately due to sightings of a Lesser Scaup. We did go to see if we could find it ourselves but were unlucky, it had been seen in the morning on the day we went but I found out afterwards that it had been pushed around so much by the boats and fishermen that by afternoon,when we went, no one could find it! However I did see two other birds which were causing some interest and which I have never seen before, the first of which was was a Yellow Legged Gull. It used to be considered a type of Herring Gull and has only recently been recognised as a species in its own right. The Herring Gull does not have the yellow legs or red around the eye.

'Oh! the white sea-gull, the bold sea-gull,
He makes on the shore his nest.
And he tries what the inland fields may be;
But he loveth the sea the best!'
(Mary Howitt)

Yellow-legged Gull

The other bird of note which I had heard was there was the Rock Pipit and again I was lucky enough to see it but it was a fair way away so I had to crop the photos to the size of postage stamps! Also the focus is not too good although better than in the photos I took a few days before which were completely unusable!

Rock Pipit

Now! Back to our original walk and we saw lots of Black-headed Gulls.

The next photo is of an immature (first Winter) bird, note the more orange (rather than deep red) legs and the brown band on the wings.

We also saw Teal Ducks

Teal Duck (male)

'Hurrah for the laughing water,
The songs that the streamlets sing!
Whish! The teal duck's mate has sought her
With a stroke of his mottled wing!'
(William Henry Ogilvie)

Teal Duck (female)

The following photo of a female shows how very small the Teal is in comparison to the Mallard!

I assume that the ducks in the next photo are two of the many Mallard hybrids but if anyone knows different I would be glad to hear from you.

I think this is a Dunlin although to me it looks slightly different compared with the photo on my previous post and was seen in a different part of Draycote Water. I welcome any correction to my ID.


I couldn't resist another Heron photo, I am fascinated by their air of solitude, I feel a connection...

And long may'st thou the seasons brave,
Lone loiterer by the silent wave!
Long may thy stately, rugged form,
Impervious to the sun or storm,
Arrest the wandering pilgrim's eye,
And bid him ask the reason why.
(David Millar)

To the immediate right of the hide (from which we viewed the Heron) there are bird feeders. I was hoping to see Marsh or Willow Tits but it was not to be. However there were lots of Blue and Great Tits, Greenfinches and Chaffinches.

Chaffinch (male)

I am always amused when I see a Great Tit as, to me, they look like they are wearing either a bowler hat or a horse riding hat.

Great Tit

There was also someone else at the bird feeders!

It didn't take long to get to the peanuts!

Grey Squirrel

After enjoying the view from the hide we continued our walk and it wasn't long before we saw this Rabbit enjoying the glorious sunshine as much as we were

and so was this lovely butterfly

Painted Lady
and this pretty

Chaffinch (female)

If I asked you to guess what we saw next I wouldn't mind betting you couldn't! In a field we spotted these


These two looked as surprised to see us as we were to see them!

I have always mourned the passing of Summer but thanks to the enthusiasm I have found on so many of my blogland friends' sites I am learning to embrace every season and enjoy the delights which each new phase of the year brings...thank you to all of you.

'When autumn wind goes running
It does some magic things.
It gives the shadows dancing shoes,
It gives the bright leaves wings.'

Well I think I may have outstayed my welcome by now and you are probably sighing with relief to know we are at the end of our walk. I will leave you with a photograph which shows just how long we stayed at Draycote, this is what we saw as we left.

'Such a colour, such infinite light!
The heart of a fabulous gem,
Many-faceted, brilliant and rare.
Centre Stone of the earth's diadem!'
(Amy Lowell)

Have a lovely week and a wonderful Nature filled weekend.


  1. What a terrific series of photos! I enjoyed each and every one. I agree with you that the herons seem to have an air of self-sufficiency about them.

  2. Hi Jan......your beautiful sunset made me quite emotional...for some reason they always do.

    I love gulls, they often get a bad press. Everything is here for a reason......

    I did not realise how small the teal is until you showed them with the mallards. They fly over our garden sometimes....I did not identify them, our local farmer told me. If he is right they have a distinct call??

    I understand your connection with the heron. I to love solitude and there is nothing wrong with that......
    I quote....'True peace of mind and complete tranquillity are only to be found in solitude'....Schopenhaver

    A lovely post Jan and they are never too pleased to hear you are enjoying autumn, there is so much that is God given and it comes with each season......

  3. Another lovely post! The colours that autumn brings are fantastic aren't they? We have Llamas at a farm locally, it's always a little odd to see them in a field where you'd expect to see cows or sheep!

  4. Lovely set of pictures, I love your last picture of the sunset. I enjoyed reading the peoms that you have posted with your pictures.

  5. What lovely photos, Shy Songbird. I have thoroughly enjoyed your trip to Draycote and seeing some birds that are familiar to me and many that are not. I think autumn is my favorite time of year, with the cool evenings and even mid-day although warm, lacks the ferocious heat of summer. Your sunset was beautiful and the perfect ending to your day of wandering and discovery. Your posts are never too long, and I always enjoy your visits.

  6. I really enjoy seeing your birds. Some of them are so similar to ones we have in this area. There is always something different. A patch of yellow or blue, something. The teal duck is lovely and the alpacas are so cute. I see lamas here but haven't seen any alpacas.

  7. Well done songbird, nice set of piccies!
    Dunlins can be a bit variable, as they change into their winter plumage.

  8. Oh what a journey through your diverse range of photos...I'm just speechless...fantastic!

  9. Lovely photos Jan, such a peaceful place with plenty of wildlife to share it with...

    I had a close encounter with a Grey Heron on Saturday... They are such megestic, elegant birds :)

  10. What beautiful photos, as usual Jan!! I loved those Alpacas!! They are so funny and cute. Hugs!

  11. Happy Autumn Shy Songbird! What a lovely set of photographs, I especially love the Heron and know exactly what you mean about their air of solitude - they are so graceful.

  12. Hi Jan
    What a lovely selection of photo's. Seems like a nice place to visit with a lot to offer.

  13. Another great visit you had, with a good variety of birds.
    Well done with the Rock Pipit. That'd be a first for me, and that sunset is really beautiful.

  14. Very enjoyable read and some lovely pictures. Alpacas - I saw some of those and thought they were Llamas! The sunset shot is lovely.

  15. Wilma,
    Thank you very much. For such a large and potentially cumbersome bird I think the Heron has an elegance all of its own.

  16. Dear Cheryl,
    Thank you so much. The sunset was an awesome sight and I took a lot of photos of it at different stages.

    Your local farmer is right, the Teal does indeed have a very distinctive call but I had no idea myself until you asked! I listened to it on the RSPB website. It is a sort of erratic whistle! and I would never have connected it with a duck...thank you for drawing it to my attention.

    Thank you too for the Schopenhaver quote, it is beautiful and I will keep it and be reminded of you each time I read it...

    Enjoy Autumn dear Cheryl, I am...and intend to enjoy Winter more than I usually do thanks to you...and my other blogland friends...and Nature :)

  17. Pam,
    Thank you very much. Yes the Autumn colours are wonderful, the trees around here are looking lovely.

    I actually thought the Alpacas were Llamas when I first saw them but there was a notice on the gate explaining a little of their history. You are right though they did look slightly incongruous!

  18. Lynmiranda,
    Thank you very much. The sunset was a really lovely sight!

    I'm so glad you mention enjoying the poems as well as I sometimes wonder whether to include them or not, it is quite time consuming finding the right ones...but I do enjoy it ;)

  19. Dear Morning Glories,
    Thank you very much, I'm so glad you enjoyed it, I was not too familiar with some of the birds I saw there myself.

    When I was a child Autumn was my favourite season, I loved all the colours (which I still do of course) but I think it may have been a lot to do with the promise of Christmas ;)

    Of course we only very occasionally have spells of 'ferocious heat' in Summer so I can see why Autumn must bring some relief to you.

    Thank you so much for saying my posts are not too long...I do wonder sometimes!

  20. thanks shysongbird, for another informative and illustrative post, (i'd never heard of a ROCK PIPIT)


  21. Hi Jan,

    Finally caught up with your latest Blog post. Yet again your photos are just terrific, I love the last one, what colour the sky is and the colour of Autumn, I know we dislike Winter but I could never miss an Autumn with its warm colours.

    Well done Jan.


  22. I always enjoying seeing the many birds you post here, including some that we may not have in the U.S. Your Great Tits look very much like what we call goldfinches--I wonder if they are the same bird with different regional names, or a completely different species. I do recognize the Teal ducks, though--such pretty birds! My favorite has to be the alpacas, though, with their expressive eyes. My daughter always wanted my husband to start an alpaca farm:) Beautiful sunset--the perfect ending to a perfect day!

  23. Absolutely beautiful picture shysongbird!!! Love the rock pipit(hes very fat!!!) and the alpacas! just beautiful x

  24. Roses and Lilacs,
    Thank you very much Marnie. I also am always struck by the similarities between your birds and ours.

    We have a soap opera on the radio here and one of the characters keeps Llamas as pets! So when I saw the Alpacas I did think they were Llamas but there was a notice on the fence which gave information about Alpacas...sweet creatures!

    Thank you very much, your encouragement always means a lot to me.
    I am not too familiar with all the waders and water birds but it is fun learning and I know I can rely on your expertise!

  25. good evening jan,
    oh i love the sunset photo with the fishermen in their little john boats.
    i am so delighted to hear you are embracing this season...sometimes the change can be hard but there is a season for everything.
    lovely finish to your draycote walk. it's good to be outdoors and share that with us.
    happy weekend in autumn.

  26. good evening jan,
    oh i love the sunset photo with the fishermen in their little john boats.
    i am so delighted to hear you are embracing this season...sometimes the change can be hard but there is a season for everything.
    lovely finish to your draycote walk. it's good to be outdoors and share that with us.
    happy weekend in autumn.

  27. ::flyingstars::,
    Thank you, you are so kind, I am very pleased you enjoyed my post :)

    It is a great place to visit and some parts are extremely peaceful but you would be amazed by how many cyclists and joggers there are... and even stranger forms of transport which I will show you sometime ;)
    I really do like seeing Herons...there is something about them.

  28. Jan, your post has everything that I want and LOVE to see. Birds, butterflies, water, sunset. Loved the other creatures too. I've only seen teals in magazines like the National Geographic. To be able to photograph them is wonderful!

    Great scene of autumn, and the setting sun reflected on the water is beautiful. A nature filled weekend sounds lovely! Wish you the same too!

  29. You are getting really brilliant photos Jan. I do like the cheeky Squirrel and the beautiful sunset scene. Have had few colourful sunrises or sunsets here, dry but nearly always dull and cloudy these days. A lovely 'read and look' all round.

  30. Ginnymo,
    Thank you very much Ginny. The Alpacas were a real surprise and they did look comical, I believe they are quite sweet natured creatures. Hugs and xxxx.

    Thank you very much for your comments and a very Happy Autumn to you too :)
    I think the more I see Herons the more they fascinate me with their stillness.

    Ken Browne,
    Thank you very much Ken, it is a really nice place, I'm sure you would like it too. There are often unusual sightings reported there.

  31. holdingmoments,
    Thank you very much Keith. The Rock Pipit was definitely a first for me in fact I think it is the first of any type of Pipit I have seen.

    Thank you very much, I too thought they were Llamas until I saw the information board on the fence. Apparently the people who keep them make all sorts of lovely things from their wool.

  32. denzil,
    Thank you very much Denis,you are very kind. I had never seen a Rock Pipit before in my life or any Pipit as far as I can remember! So I was thrilled with that sighting, I just wish I could have got a bit nearer for a better picture.

    Thank you very much for your kind comments. That sunset was quite breathtaking to witness! You are quite right the colours of Autumn are wonderful.

  33. Rose,
    Thank you very much. I think a lot of our birds are similar to yours but often with subtle differences. I have always thought your Chickadees are similar to our Tit family, I believe they are related.
    That may have been a shrewd idea of your daughter's! I believe there is good money to be made from the manufacture of Alpaca wool related products ;)

    Thank you very much, I thought how fat the Rock Pipit looked too ;)
    Yes the Alpacas were really sweet and comical looking.

  34. Marmee,
    Good afternoon and a very Happy Autumn to you ;)
    Thank you very much. I had never heard the term 'john boats' but have just looked it up and do now, I don't think we use that name at all here.
    I have enjoyed seeing how much you do to welcome Autumn, it is such a lovely colourful season.
    Have a lovely weekend :)

    Kanak Hagjer,
    Thank you so much Kanak. I had never really paid too much attention to ducks is great how photography, and blogging in particular, opens the mind up and makes one more aware! The Teals are lovely little ducks.

    Midmarsh John
    Thank you very much John, I am flattered by your praise as I know you have far more experience with photography than I do!
    The Squirrel was so entertaining to watch, it had clearly been there many times before and the birds weren't at all bothered, they were eating quite happily together.
    It is quite cool here today and a little dull, I think we are promised more sun for tomorrow. Good light makes such a difference to photography!

  35. A lovely set of photographs. I have yet to see A Yellow -legged Gull. The Rock Pipits are no stranger to me and they do allow me to get quite close before moving on a short distance.
    Whilst out in Devon..Angie spotted a field with the same Alpacas as you did...not something you really expect to see in a passing field.
    I love the way the tale gradually onfolds enhanced by your photographs and snippets of poetry.

  36. The Abbot,
    Thank you very much Trevor. It was nice to see two birds that were new to me, I have a very long list of birds I have never seen ;)

    Angie mentioned that she had seen some Alpacas and that she thought they were Llamas at first which was what I thought too.

    I am very glad you like my blog and do appreciate your kind words .

  37. This post has some fabulous photos...Draycote has some awesome wildlife!! WTG on the new bird, I added a few new birds on my recent trip and it was good to tick those off and done with a smile!
    Fantastic sunset photo!!!

  38. Just lovely, glad to see that the rabbit has escaped the ravages of mixy, it's awful here this year.

  39. Hi Jan what a fantastic post so full of variety and beautifuly photographed.Well done on the Yellow legged Gull and Rock Pipit not the easiest of birds to find at the best of times, but with great pics as well thats a real bonus. Just wish I took that Sunset love it

  40. Dear Jan,
    Oh my goodness what a wonderful post! I had to check my shoes I was so close to the water....
    Your birds are lovely indeed...I too feel connection to the Heron, I have read she is the messenger of the Goddess.
    Alpacas.....they are sooooo cute....In September I spun black Alpaca roving into yarn and hope to knit a pair of slippers this winter...
    Thank you again for a wonderful post. I am very fond of the Painted Ladies...connections with my friends...

  41. ....that was a beautiful walk ending in a gorgeous sunset!!! Love the herons as well. Was that heron surrounded by feathers floating on the water?

  42. Dixxe's Doodles,
    Thank you very much for your kind comments Dixxe. It does indeed have some awesome wildlife and yes it was great to see birds I had never seen before, it is quite a thrill to see something new :)

    Thank you very much. I wasn't aware that horrible disease was still around, I thought it died out years sad!

    Thank you very much Monty, you are very kind. It really was a thrill for me to see two of the birds which were causing quite a stir there, I wish I could have got closer to the Pipit though. I had seen it in a better position but unfortunately it was spooked by a Pied Wagtail!

  43. Q,
    Dear Sherry, Thank you very much and I hope your shoes have dried out by now ;)
    'Messenger of the Goddess'... I didn't know that, it is lovely, I must look it up...I really do feel there is something special about the Heron.
    The Alpaca wool slippers you are hoping to knit sound wonderful, you must show us a photo when they are done.

    Thank you very much. The sunset was really magical to witness and all too short which is why I am pleased to have it to look back on!
    Yes they were feathers and gave the scene quite a surreal quality I thought.

  44. Oh this post made my heart sing

  45. SweetAnnee,

    Thank you very much for your kind comment Deena. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    I do hope you are keeping well :)

  46. What a wonderful collection of pictures. I truly enjoyed them.

  47. OC,

    Thank you very much, I'm glad you did.

    I hope you enjoyed your change of scenery and that your hip is improving.

  48. What a great collection of photos, thanks for sharing.

  49. Iowa Gardening Woman,

    Welcome and thank you for visiting and for your kind comments. I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos and will be over to visit your blog very soon :)

  50. Another Fascinating Post !! These birds are so lovely !! Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan

  51. Unseen Rajasthan,

    Thank you very much for your kind comments Bharat and I hope you have been enjoying Diwali.

  52. Jan, it's me again. I checked out 'Tradescantia' and came across some amazing photos. But it's not the same plant that I'd posted. Thanks, anyway. I didn't even know what Tradescantia was. But now I'm glad I do.

    Have a great Sunday!

  53. Hi.I found you blog hoping and have to say your blog is absolutely gorgeous, I love everything from wildlife and really loved looking at all your beautiful photos , love the idea of adding verses, wish I had thought of that. Thanks for letting me visit would love to come again soon.

  54. Hi,
    Thanks for passing by my blog then I could discover yours!! This is a fantastic post full of marvelous shots!!! I'll definitively come back.

  55. Hi again Jan,I hope you are well and are getting enough sleep ;-)

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this series of posts on your walk. As John said your photos are brilliant. I especially love the birds and love the one with the heron and the sparkling water in the background although squirrel shots always catch the eye with their mischievous faces! Although I have to say I love the glimmer in the eye of the rabbit almost saying ‘I’m so much more handsome than any squirrel!” LOL :-D

    Once again you’ve mixed beautifully pics and prose. A rich posting from an area rich in interest. Thanks for sharing it with us. Enjoy the rest of your week :-D

    Remember to watch the clock… LOL… I should take my own advice!!! (Yawn, rubbing eyes)

  56. Kanak,
    Thanks for dropping in again :) I thought I would suggest Tradescantia but was rather doubtful as the centre of the flower didn't look quite the same as yours. I suspect it is probably something that doesn't even grow here, if you ever find out what it is you must let us know as I am quite intrigued!

    Welcome and thank you so much for visiting, it is surprising where we can find ourselves when we start blog hopping ;)
    Thank you also for your lovely comments, you are very kind. I'm glad you mentioned the poetry, I keep wondering whether to carry on including it so it is nice to hear you enjoyed it.
    Please do visit again, you will be very welcome and I will be over to visit you soon :)

    Welcome and thank you for visiting and for your very kind comments. I do hope you come back, you will be most welcome :)

  57. Shirl,

    Thank you so much for your very generous comments and I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply 'things' seem to have been conspiring against me recently ;)

    There were a number of rabbits sunning themselves there, I think it must have been their favourite sunbathing spot :)

    It certainly is a place rich in interest, unfortunately it can be quite 'rich' in another way if the wind is in the wrong direction due to a nearby sewage works!!!

    LOL regarding watching the clock, it really is all too easy to forget time altogether while in blogland!

    Thanks again for the lovely comments. Have a great weekend :)

  58. Your photos are stunning. I had a very enjoyable visit to your blog, thanks for stopping by mine.

    Cavaliers are very sweet dogs.

    Looking forward to seeing photos that you have not had a chance to post yet, it will be a long winter brighter.


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