Sunday, September 28, 2008

Autumn bird walk - 28/09

A bright morning, cold but no fog! Six ardent bird-watchers gathered outside the VC at 9 am. This used to be a monthly affair but the "programme is under new management". Our walk today took us round the conservation area only (i.e. Fingers Lake) and was extremely enjoyable.

On the main lake, 154 Canadas (2 more on fingers lake), 3 Greylags and a Bar-headed Goose (probably an escape, originally from the high plateau of central Asia), a Cormorant and a Heron. Only 4 Gt. Crested Grebes found here (looks like the autumn peak has passed).
Walking down to the Fingers, 2 Sky Lark overhead & 2 Mipits & some unseen House Martins (2-3?). Also a couple of Siskin were heard calling up high.

There were 11 Gadwall on "lilypads", a brilliant Kingfisher entertained us for some while, 3 Cormorants digesting their 'breakfast' in the trees and in the gloom of "east/big fingers" a diving duck that turned out to be a male Tufted. A couple of Chiffs worked the willows of the spit and 'crescent'. Plenty of adult Moorhens in their new (moulted) finery. There was nothing of note at the Kramer hide - the bushes need a good "chop" as they are restricting the view badly. [The Otters should return in the very near future]

Other species included a Gt. Spot., 2 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Pied Wagtails, 2 family parties of LTT (one of 10, the other maybe 12), 4 Song Thrush and ca. 15 Robins. Blackbirds were little in evidence: I expect it won't be long before the "continentals" arrive to swell the numbers.

At the 'long hedge cum rough' section, we found at least 4 Blackcaps (male & female) feeding in the Elderberry, another 3 Chiffs (top of the Hawthorns), maybe as many as 20 Goldfinches, many of them youngsters with "browny heads", all 'twinkling away, and at least 7 Swallows heading off SW at tree top height. No sign of the Lesser Whitethroat from yesterday.
Tony P had a Redwing over earlier.

Plenty of butterflies feeding/sunning themselves- including Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Comma.

Red Admiral


Next Walk - Sunday 16th November, 9am.

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