Saturday, May 10, 2008

Boxing day!

May 10 - we went out to check the nest boxes in the conservation area. The three of us managed to visit all 20 in three hours, just meeting our lunch-time dead-line.
All were occupied - so the Green Woodpecker's drumming didn't deter the "owners". As far as we can tell at this stage, 12 contain Great Tits and the other eight Blue Tits. A brood of Great Tits, eight in all, were ringed as they were around the 10-day old mark. It is difficult to tell just yet, but we think 13 boxes held young, 6 had females sitting on eggs and one nest with eggs was unattended when we arrived.
More news next week if the weather holds.

Friday, May 09, 2008

More ringing!

Friday - a shortish session to familiarise a ranger, who is seeking a "Bat" licence, with mist nets.
Tally was - 4 Blackcap (2m,2f - one was a control, our 2nd this week), 3 Garden Warbler (2f, 1m), new f . LTT, 1 new & 1 old (2005) Wren, 1 Blue Tit . One of the Blackcaps must have well grown young in the nest (from its brood patch).

Birds over incl. Swift, 2 Oyks, pr Bullfinch, 2 Lesser W/throats, 2 ordinary W/throats, 1 Willow, several Blackbirds. A Turtle Dove sang almost continuously from 07:30 'til 09:30 (good views). Yesterday and the day before a Green Wood on the spit.
Thursday was the day for Garden Warblers in song! And I put up a pair of Stock Doves from the large Ash trees by the concrete bridge. Where have all those Coots come from?

Hey ho! Nest boxes tomorrow; I know some have got young in. I suspect the boxes that the Green Wood was using as a sound box are empty. Surprise, surprise.

Here is a list of the number of individual birds handled so far this year in the park:
Woodpigeon 2, Kingfisher 2, Gt. Spotted Woodpecker 4, Wren 16, Dunnock 15, Robin 6, Blackbird 13, Song Thrush 4, Reed Warbler 9, Garden Warbler 6, Blackcap 14, Chiffchaff 6, Long-tailed Tit 22, Blue Tit 38, Great Tit 57, Magpie 1, Chaffinch 8, Greenfinch 6 Goldfinch 3, Bullfinch 7, Reed Bunting 3. Total 242 of which 83 were ringed in 2007 or earlier.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Luxury Otter Accommodation

Today (08/05/08) BTCV volunteers constructed an Otter Holt by the hide on the Main Lake. We also finished a short section of post & wire fencing in the same area.

John A the 'Otter Holt Architect'

Where did it go? Check out the rarely seen flying clod bird!

An Otters eye view!

5 Black Terns seen over the main lake throughout the day and were still there until at least 3pm. A mallard family with 10 chicks seen dodging the frisky fish!

One Mallard Family

Thursday 8th May

A quick bike around the park this morning. No sight nor sound of Gropper on Fenlake despite the favourably quiet conditions. Still 5 Black Terns over the main lake. Saw the 5 Canada Goslings along the Spit. Carp and Bream still very active around the main lake. Male Bullfinch on the east side of Fingers and a pair along the Cut. Plenty of singing Warblers of various flavours.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wednesday ringing

5am start, this time at the crescent for "not long in" Reed Warblers.
5:30 - nets up, time for some birdwatching. Common Sand on beach, Oyk over calling (ex Fenlake?), Turtle Dove purring, 2 cuckoos cuckooing, 2 males & a female Gadwall, a Swift and 2 Black Terns by 6am.
Starters - a pair of Reed Buntings - lovely! Then a couple of male Dunnocks , a male Wren and a female Reed Warbler, off her nest for some breakfast. At 6:30 a pair of Garden Warblers and a chance to compare brood patches. EN had id-ed the male singing not far from where they were then caught. DK stopped by between 7:30 & 8:00, informing us that there was now a total of 5 Black Terns. Oo! .. and a pair of Canadas have got off some goslings on Fingers. By 9:00, we had caught 7 Reed Warblers, including a "control". We finished with a male Chiff. 18 in all; we'll settle for that.
The carp were active at the main hide and by the beach, where they were joined by spawning bream.

Fwd: 5 Black Terns, Priory

--- In, "richardbashford"
<Richard.Bashford@...> wrote:

Just flown in per Dave Kramer

--- End forwarded message ---

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

One good Tern ...

One good Tern ... deserves another 18!

I wasn't around on Saturday for the 1 Black Tern but saw all 18 on Sunday 4th May. An early count was 14, just before I met DK & DB, but numbers increased to 18 by the time I left.

This morning (6th May) I went to the Kramer Hide after chatting with DK (about Dunnocks and useless technology) - nothing of note there, just the usual Canada Goose skirmishes. A male Cuckoo called from somewhere within the conservation area/long hedge.

A trip down the spit at 8.20am produced a Jay flying over the fingers & over the spit.

This Thursday (8th) BTCV volunteers will be constructing an Otter Holt by the hide on the main lake. I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Monday 5th May (Coot wars and an Otter)

And then there were none, Black Terns that is. Not a single one left this morning and Common Terns had moved back in, just 10 though when I counted first thing. The resident pair of Mute Swans were present with one on the nest on the island. The Common Whitethroat was still singing from the island. There seem to have been an influx of Reed Warblers. There were four in the southwest corner of the main lake, another on the south side next to a Sedge Warbler, another good opportunity to compare and contrast the songs. Others were in the reed bed next to the main lake hide. A few Chiffs and Blackcaps were singing but seemed a little subdued compared to previous mornings. This was confirmed by DK who mentioned that he thought the Blackcaps weren't singing this morning.
A quick look over to Fenlake revealed a Shelduck sat on top of the hay bales by the lake. It's getting much harder to see anything over there as the vegetation gets thicker by the day.
At the crescent the Reed Warblers were singing strongly, very difficult to pick out individuals now. Apparently when DK went down the Spit, first thing, the Reed Warblers were singing but on his way back it had gone completely silent! There were 3 Coot on east Fingers and another on west Fingers, more Reed Warblers were singing from the west Fingers reed beds. The Mute Swans were present with one on the nest and a couple of Cormorants also. While scanning west Fingers, from the end fishing swim on the Spit, an Otter swam out of one of the fingers and across towards the gap to east Fingers, diving a couple of times and leaving it's characteristic bubble trail behind. The Great Crested Grebe was still on the nest, the other was on east Fingers. Heading back along the Spit another pair of Coot were seen on east Fingers heading straight towards the other pair in the south east corner. As usual an almighty fight broke out:

Coot wars

So six Coot on Fingers but then another 2 at Kramer hide so suddenly up to 8 on Fingers seemingly over night! Also at Kramer hide a Muntjac showed well, on the right hand reed bed, while feeding off the lower Willow branches.


The Rough was very quiet with Blackcaps in sub-song and refusing to do anything more. The usual Chiff was still singing along the path between the Steps and the Rough gate. A Cuckoo flew over calling as he went.

At the Sedgewick Seat a couple of Blackcaps finally broke into song, a Chiff was singing and 2 Treecreepers were seen. Some odd drumming was heard and had I not been tricked by the Green Woodpeckers earlier this year I may have been off on a futile search for Lesser Spot again. But having learned my lesson I suspect this was another Green drumming on the nest box at the Sheep Pen, it sounded very similar to the one that was drumming near the Beach, short fast bursts.

Up at the STW reed bed 4 Sedge Warblers were seen/heard but today a Reed Warbler was also singing up near the bridge, and seen briefly at the edge of the reeds.

Cutting through the Long Hedge, a couple of Blackcaps were heard along with another Chiff. I skirted the north side of the New Meadow and came across a couple of singing Willow Warblers in the hedge, while another Chiff and Green Woodpecker were heard along the Cut. Another Willow Warbler was singing by the car park, no Lesser Whitethroat today though. Commons were heard by the gap from the New Meadow through the Long Hedge, to the Navigation Channel, with at least 2 singing in the area.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunday 4th May

A Black Tern day today, after yesterdays single bird 18 in this morning, possibly increasing through the morning as DKs early count was just 10 although from the north side there may have been others hidden behind the island. When I left the park at about 11am there were still double figures despite the sailing which had started. It was amazing to see Black Terns out numbering Commons, and seemingly pushing the all the Commons off the lake at one point, the Commons being demoted to the marina! A shame about the overcast conditions again as some Black Terns were quite close in, especially at the Beach end.

Black Terns

Not as close as the Common Terns though:

Common Tern

Plenty of other birds about although the Wood Warbler, from yesterday, seems to have moved on, or was keeping very quiet. The hobby DK reported was glimpsed before it disappeared over the trees of the Finger Lakes. We nearly missed it altogether as myself and DK were trying to photograph the Black Terns but DK called and I saw it just before it disappeared. Ed joined us just after and we wlaked around Fingers before DK departed to complete his circuit of the park.

Plenty of Mute Swan action on the main lake with the resident male busy seeing off interlopers.

Mute Swans
A Common Whitethroat on the south east corner of Fingers posed for a picture, the second we had seen down that side of the Finger Lakes:

Common Whitethroat

On the way back to the car a Reed Bunting was singing in the plantation behind the visitor centre and a Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the plantation opposite, the second of the day following on from one seen earlier in the Rough.

Reed Bunting

At Kramer hide a Muntjac was laying up under the willow at the front left of the reed bed in front of the hide. A pair of Coot were nest building in the left hand reed bed.

Fwd: Priory

--- In, DavidDavekramer@... wrote:

Black Terns were up to 18 by 0930. Hobby over. Few more Garden Warblers
still plenty of Blackcaps but Chiffs and Willow Warblers fairly low.
DaveK. </HTML>

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