Saturday, June 28, 2008

Around the park 28/06/2008

Another blustery day but bright and sunny with it. 81 Canada Geese up by the sailing club and at least 19 Common Tern over the main lake. A single Willow Warbler behind the Visitor Centre and a couple of burbling Reed Warblers along the main path reed bed. At the beach a pair of Mute Swans were shepherding their single youngster from Fingers to the main lake, seeing off all comers on the journey, would be nice if dog owners were a bit more considerate to the wildlife! I think the Swans had been ejected from Fingers by the resident male. I didn't give them much chance of staying long on the main lake, with a resident pair on there, but they were still there when I left the park.

On Fingers the usual singing Common Whitethroat on the south east corner with a singing Reed Bunting nearby. A couple of Reed Warblers in the crescent. On east Fingers a single adult Great Crested Grebe and one of the youngsters on east Fingers along with a couple of Mallard families of 3 and 5 ducklings and 4 other Mallards. The male Mute Swan was still throwing his weight around on east Fingers, throwing the other family off seemingly not enough for him although the Mallard family were at a bit of a disadvantage on the size front! On west Fingers there were 4 Moorhen, 45 Mallards, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan with 6 cygnets and a single male Mandarin in eclipse plumage.

At the Rough a Common Whitethroat was singing, on the south side of west Fingers Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Greenfinch were all singing. From the Dead Seat I heard the Mute Swan hissing and then watched as she hastily shepherded her youngsters across to the far side of west Fingers. There was probably a predator about but my wait for the hoped for Otter was in vain. Another Blackcap was singing in the Rough and another male Blackcap was seen by the dipping platform opposite the Rough gate. In the Sheep Pen a Common Whitethroat was singing along with a couple Blackcaps. Still plenty of noise from the Jackdaws around Fingers and yet another Blackcap in the Long Hedge just past the Sedgewick Seat.

At Kramer hide another Blackcap had me wondering. After several minutes of listening and trying to catch a glimpse I was about to mark it down as a Garden Warbler when it relented and burst into full song. Just a couple of Herons seen from the hide.

Down stream along the navigation channel another singing Blackcap in the plantation opposite Kingsmead and another at the Kissing Gate and a singing Sedge Warbler in between. A Cuckoo was heard over on the north side of the new Meadow or along the Cut. Over the river on the other side of the old railway bridge a couple more Sedge Warblers were singing.

On 100 Acre just a Heron and couple of Mallards. Several House Martins taking a drink on the wing. Along the cycle track three singing Common Whitethroats alongside the STW. At Meadow Lane GP very little other than BH Gulls due to the landscaping work going on. Strangely having removed the access road on the far side of the pit the contractors have reinstated it to move earth from the new workings on 100 Acre for use in landscaping around the pit.

In the field on the opposite side of cycle path there was a single Oystercatcher, 3 Lapwing and a Ringed Plover. The Lapwing seemed very territorial, seeing off Gulls and Crows and the Oystercatcher but I couldn't see any chicks despite watching for a while. Then my attention was drawn to a large bird taking off from the field further along Meadow Lane. It was a Common Buzzard but it disappeared behind the trees. I walked further along the path in time to see the Buzzard leave a larger tree pursued by a Crow but again they went behind cover. A brief glimpse through a gap in the hedge was just enough time to fire off a couple of photo's, one of which was half decent.

Common Buzzard

Still more Blackcaps and Common Whitethroats further along the cycle path (2 of each). Back at the park a Chiffchaff was singing on the north side of the New Meadow. A couple of Common Whitethroat and a Blackcap were singing in the Long Hedge and another CW was in the small plantation in the New Meadow. Back at the main lake at least 14 Great Crested Grebe 12 of which were together in a single group.

Caught up with EN and Ed in the Rough back on the CES trail after a couple of weeks break.

CES - visit 6, 28/06

Back to business!
Today's session started off badly with sunshine and wind. It did pick up as time went by and got quite busy towards the end, what with newly fledged birds.
The totals are (new adult, new juv, retrapped):
Whitethroat 2/-/- (males), Chiff -/3/-, Blackbird -/-/2, Wren 1/4/1 (a good day), Blackcap 2/4/1 (a very good day), Dunnock -/2/1, Gt.Tit -/1/- (wot! no ring!), Song Thrush 1/-/-, Robin -/1/-, and lastly, Kingfisher -/1/- ( the first in the 'rough' since 1995).
And some piccies by Ed:

Song Thrush (2CY male)

Wren (2CY male)

Main fascination today was Swifts overhead (early) and then a Collared Dove toing-and-froing with nest materials.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Better late than never!

It was a washout on Saturday and very quiet in the park on Sunday. Singing Blackcaps were still fairly numerous.

Canada Goose: 91
Reed Warbler: 3
Blackcap: 9
Chiffchaff: 4
Great Crested Grebe: Pair and 2 young on Fingers and 2 more adults on main lake
Mallards: 37 + 3 ducklings
Grey Heron: 4
Song Thrush: 2
Garden Warbler: 2
Common Whitethroat: 5
Mute Swan: 7 + 4 cygnets mainlake + 2 over
Cuckoo: 1
Moorhen: 1 + 3 young on east fingers and 1 on nest by main lake hide
Long-tailed Tit: 3 parties around the park mostly hidden in the canopy but one on the south side of the lake numbered at least 11.
Common Tern: 11
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1

On Monday morning I rode out to Danish Camp and back, not seeing much at all although singing Common Whitethroat was by far the most numerous of the summer migrants heard.

Wednesday morning and I was out on the bike again with completely different results. Blackcap was the most numerous of the warblers this morning although numbers were down across the board. While passing the Bedford STW 16 Lapwing flew over and I spotted a Little Egret in Meadow Lane GP. At the Tern Pool a single Redshank was sat on one of the sign posts and a couple of Yellow Wagtails flew from the cycle path into the crops. On the way back I stopped off at Meadow lane GP and dragged the bins out of the pack. There were actually 3 Little Egrets and 9 Lapwing with a couple of Mute Swans a few BH Gulls and Mallards.