Saturday, December 08, 2007

Saturday 8th December

An early start hoping to beat the rain this morning. Headed along the main path towards fingers and spotted a fox watching me from the hedge line close to the labyrinth. A little further along the path a Kingfisher called from lillypads and another called from the fishing swims at the beach end of the main lake. Cut down the spit and had 6 Fieldfare over south east. Four Little Grebe on West Fingers along with the resident pair of Mute Swans. 2 Canada Geese flew in to West Fingers but were immediately turfed off by the swans. 2 Shoveller were also on West Fingers down a couple of the fingers. The female flew off towards the main lake leaving a lone young/eclipse male.

Continued around Fingers and spotted 2 more Little Grebe on East Fingers. Arrived in Kramer hide to find at least 2 Otters playing in the right most channel. Watched them for approx 15 minutes as they continued to chase around, porpoising and scaring all the wildfowl including a pair of Shoveller. A Magpie kept dive bombing the Otters at any opportunity. The Otters finally disappeared over to the left side. Looked like they headed onto either east or west Fingers but i did not catch up with them again.

Didn't see any wildfowl around the back of Fingers but when I got to the dead seat there were 3 Shoveller (1m) and a pair of Gadwall on west fingers. Also a single Cormorant on west fingers.

Back on the main path, heading off around the main lake, I flushed 3 Goosander from the edge of the reed bed. They headed out into the lake before flying towards the southwest side of the lake. Flushed a Kingfisher from the south east corner, it headed west along the edge of the lake. A few moments later 2 Kingfishers flew back past me towards the beach end fishing swims. As I reached the main lake hide I disturbed a Kingfisher that was sitting on the handrail of the feeding platform which may, or may not, have been a third individual.

From the hide there were 9 male Pochard, 3 male Tufted Ducks and 22 Shoveller. A Sparrowhawk flew low across the lake from the north side to the south east corner. Only mid 20's for the Great Crested Grebe count. A single Little Egret flew from one of the fishing swims on the south side and finally ended up in the south west corner. 2 of the Mute Swans flew off.

A male Sparrowhawk flew across the path in front of me as I reached the fishing swims on the south west side of the lake and it was here that I caught up with the 3 Goosander again. A Kingfisher flew west in front of the fishing swims and a Water Rail was heard squealing in the reed beds. A quick count of the Cormorants returned 16 with a small party fishing together. A single Mute Swan flew in and headed up to the sailing club end.

I continued along the path around the south west corner and had 11 Siskin over heading into the marina and as I stopped to scan the lake for anything I had missed some Teal calls caught my attention and I looked up to see a flock of 46 fly across the lake from the south west corner heading towards fingers where it looked like they all dropped in.

Despite the rain having started early during my loop around the main lake, what a great morning!

Friday 7th

Midday stroll around Fingers. 10 Herons sheltering from the wind in various places around this lake. 8 Dabchicks attended by 4 Moorhen (two groups), 3 Teal, 5 Shoveler (& another dozen on main lake), no sign of the Gadwall. Many Blackbirds (immigrants?) around the northern edges and a pair of Bullfinch. Goldfinch seemed lower in numbers, unless they were feeding elsewhere. Main lake had 4 Pochard and 4 Goosander; GCG numbers dropping (no count). Checked the Black-headeds feeding groups for Med. but no joy.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sun Dec 2

Lunch-time walk after the rain around Fingers. 9 Mutes (inc. 1 cygne) on main lake, 2 (pair) on Fingers & 5 overhead. L.Egret out of the wind on SE side with c.25 B/H Gulls. Min. 5 Shoveler huddled along middle section. Lake covered in white horses except in lee of far bank.
Fingers - 3 Dabchick, 2 Teal, 2 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler. Conservation area - a number of Blackbirds, small flock of Goldfinches, 3 Gt.Spots, Bullfinch, ?Blackcap (on gizz - shot off before I could get a good look) and 3 fem. Siskins that eventually landed just 8 feet away from us opposite the Rough gate!
Kingsmead - 100+ Rook & 120+ Jackdaws. 2 of the 'daws had very grey heads and another was a light shade of grey all over (except for a few pale brown feathers in wing and tail) and had very pale, almost white, trailing edges to the wings. It looked fantastic in flight. Never seen it before.