Saturday, April 05, 2008

This week

Into April - the feeders were empty on Wednesday after last weekend but filled them up, even though it was warm. The Canadas were nearly all on K/M (32 of them) with a couple of pairs each on 'Lilypads' and the main island. Did get a snatch of Willow W, however.
Thursday came (nearly missed it - got a cold) and the nets went up a bit late. However, did manage 40 birds, not all tits. 3 Chiffs, 3 Blackcaps of which 2 were heavy as if they were just in, 1 m Robin, several new Wrens, 2 new male 2CY Song Thrushes (did loads last year - where are they?) but no Blackbirds. A Blue Tit from '03 and 2 from '05, 3 Great Tits from '05 and a Dunnock and Wren also from '05. This is good and the result of a run of mild winters, no doubt. A m Reed Bunting was singing and rooting about in the 'long hedge' by the car. Spooked a Water Rail near the 'steps'.
Friday had a poke about but nothing really special; a Swallow and a Willow.
Saturday went to check on the Kingfishers. Caught a retrap male but no female; probably nesting. Watched a pair of (unringed) Blackcaps for some time and, later, a pair of Great Tits; the male GT was ringed (must net this area soon). Then a build up of 150-200 Sand Martins over the lakes about 10:30 am, also 7 Swallows & 1 House Martin. No Reed or Sedge yet! Jon B rang just after I'd left with a sighting of an Osprey being harassed by the crows and then plunging into the main lake opposite the hide c.11 am; possibly the same as at Broom @ 10:20. My cold's no better, thanks.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday 30th March

Spring has sprung! A cracking morning, excepting a rather stiff breeze. Spotted 10+ Sand Martins over the Rough as I crossed the meadow towards Fingers. Entering the conservation area around Fingers a Chiffchaff was singing in the coppiced section next to the Sheep Pen. A Blackcap was singing much further along the path towards the Sedgewick seat but I turned right towards the Steps and another Blackcap started singing in the scrub opposite the Rough gate. At the Dead Seat spotted a Coot and a male Shoveler on west Fingers. The Chiff followed me along the path staying high in the trees and singing strongly before veering off into the Rough. A second Chiff was spotted in the willows along the second finger from the Steps, the first was still singing in the Rough. The ringed Robin was in the Rough at the usual corner but a second unringed bird was closer to the path singing.

At the Spit a pair of Long Tailed Tits were carrying nesting material, heading down to the fenced off section. On west Fingers the pair of Great Crested Grebes and at least three pairs of Canada Geese. On east Fingers just a pair of Canada Geese.

At Kramer hide a Reed Bunting was singing from the small reed bed at the north end of east Fingers. A young Heron was in the usual roost tree. Four Moorhen got into a fight, plenty of noise and feet flying. Two Jays flew in over the hide, one stopping briefly in the tree in front before both continued across and followed the tree line at the back of Fingers, stopping in the taller trees along the path next to the coppiced plantation. A Chiffchaff sang briefly in the trees behind the hide, another/same was seen in the tree out front of the hide.

In the Willows, near the Sedgewick seat, a Chiffchaff singing, a Treecreeper "creeping" and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. A Blackcap was singing in the fenced off section behind the same Willows.

Back at the Rough a Blackcap was singing before being chased off by a second. A Green Woodpecker called from somewhere near the Dead Seat. As I passed west Fingers again both Mute Swans were there.

At the beach my attention was drawn to the small group of trees opposite by a
rapid drumming. A second burst confirmed my first thought, Lesser Spotted
Woodpecker. I scanned the trees for sign but could not locate the bird. A third
burst of drumming was heard and then a glimpse of a bird in flight disappearing
through the trees and across the flood channel to the woods behind. I walked
around and scanned the area for a while but there was no more drumming and I
could not locate the individual. The drumming was very rapid with no drop in
cadence at the end.
Sadly the above turned out not to be a LSW but instead was a Green Woodpecker drumming on the nest box in that stand of trees. Completely different to the other GW we had drumming on the nest box near Kramer hide. As I said very fast but probably too short a burst for it to be LSW. DK is very interested in this "drumming" behaviour which is not common in Green Woodpeckers, although not unknown. Seems we have at least 2 at it in the park this year. (DB 06/04/2008).

A chiffchaff was singing in the woods opposite the canoe slalom.

Another Chiff was singing in the trees behind the main lake hide and a second flew across the walkway to the hide as I approached. On the main lake c.6 Great Crested Grebe, a pair of Mute Swans (third seen later). Only two Cormorants (increased to four later). A kingfisher flew to the trees to the left of the hide but departed when it saw me and flew back around to the Leat.

As I walked along the south side of the lake there were a further 4 singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcap. A Kestrel was hunting on the main lake island. There were at least two Bullfinch near the Leat Pool and a Green Woodpecker called from the trees on the south side of the lake.

A great morning.