Sunday, 11 December 2016

Cranford Park with Frank and Mark

Sometimes unplanned days are the best. And today was certainly one of them.
I arrived at Cranford Park a little later than planned and headed straight for the river.
There's a tree I always check on near there. A few years ago a storm bought down half the tree leaving a jagged open tall stump. I always check it in the hope I might find an owl or Buzzard perched there. Today my hopes were nearly up when I spotted movement, but it was only a Grey Squirrel....
By the river I searched in vain for a Kingfisher or Little Egret but could find only a few Mallards and another couple of birders !
Frank and Mark had kept to their word (the comment on my blog post last weekend) and had made their way to Cranford Park. Their last visit was in 2013 when the Pied Flycatcher stayed for a few days. I've also bumped in to them at Rainham, the Wetland Centre and Hutchinsons Bank and always got on well with them. So it was a lovely surprise to see them on my patch. I enjoy showing like-minded people around the park.
After a walk through the woods, I showed them the meadows and took them down the river back to the M4 viaduct. We also went under the M4 to the other side of the park, so I could show them where the viaduct comes out. It was there we saw and heard two Kingfishers just after I was telling Frank that this was the area I think the Kingfishers nest.
Frank really wanted to see a Little Egret today, and although we hadn't seen one the whole time we were at the park, I took them down my usual path towards the river which provides a bit more cover than approaching from the stone bridge. And we were in luck. The Little Egret spotted us and moved under cover of the viaduct.....

It then took flight and we expected it to land in a tree, but instead it landed on the stone bridge !! Something I have never seen it do before.....

So Frank was happy he got his Little Egret. I was happy that I had seen the Kingfishers, even if I didn't get a photo. And Mark was happy because we were all having such a laugh.
We decided to see if we could find my elusive Water Rail from last weekend. We didn't but we did find some very suitable habitat for the shy bird, and I will be checking out those sites again.
We did spot a couple of Mistle Thrushes though I would have liked a better angle for the photo....
I told them I'd post a pic of them on my blog, so here they are...Frank and Mark.
Thanks you both so much for visiting the park. I had a really good day and a great laugh.
I hope you visit again soon.
After they both left I didn't stay too much longer.
There was a Goldfinch lingering by the stone bridge....
and a silhouette of a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the other side........
A really pleasant day. The weather was perfect. The company was fantastic. The wildlife could have been a bit more showy but we got the Little Egret.

1 comment:

  1. Ditto Wendy, a thoroughly enjoyable day-your being there made it just perfect. By the way, 2 Red Kites chaperoned us out of the Park, a wonderful end to the day. Take care, Frank & Mark xx