Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday and Saturday (27th/28th Feb)

On Friday I had a quick walk around Fingers and had a probable Otter on East Fingers which was a real bonus. It was a typically brief view from the Spit, as it swam down to the bay at the south end, initially on the surface but diving shortly after I saw it. It shot off under water like a rocket, given away by the wake on the surface, and scattered all the Mallards that had been in the bay. I tried to get round that side for a better view but as usual it had done the disappearing trick. Other highlights were the whinnying Little Grebe on West Fingers along with about half a dozen Shoveler. In the big willows just past the Sedgewick Seat a couple of Treecreepers were busy investigating every nook and cranny while a Great Spotted Woodpecker gave good views above. At Kramer hide a Kingfisher was seen.

Saturday I wandered around the park with John. The highlight was the pair of Siskins on the Alders by the fishing swims at the east end of the main lake. We had a Water Rail along the Crescent footpath and singing Reed Bunting in the reed bed. At least 4 Little Grebe were seen on West Fingers along with at least 9 Moorhen and a Coot. There were also a few Shoveler but they were very flighty this morning and were gone as soon as they saw us. In the Rough a single Redwing and a male Bullfinch shared a tree.

Seemed to be loads of Great Spots around the park this morning with a few drumming and a pair in the coppiced section next to the sheep pen. We also had at least 3 Sparrowhawks, having seen one by Kramer hide we watched one over the New Meadow as it circled before settling in a tree along the Cut. Immediately after John saw another in the Long Hedge, just past the gap from the Woodland Walk, and while he was trying to put me onto it I saw another dive into the Fingers area.

At Kramer hide we had an Oyster Catcher over heading towards Fenlake and earlier we had a couple of Lapwing over in the opposite direction.

On the main lake there were 127 Pochard and 3 Tufted ducks and on Fenlake there were at least 6 Shoveler and 26 Teal.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Just a shorty - birds noticed during my walks.
Blackbirds are very active (especially the males) and I wonder if the numbers are up prior to some emigration. A beautiful pair of Goldcrests along the spit; I stood next to them at arm's length as they checked the dead seed heads and curled up leaves. Robins all paired up suddenly; that's reduced the chasing! The Shovelers seemed paired off also; I noticed 4 pairs. I counted 6 Coots that had returned to find a nest site; 2 seemed to have formed a pair. Dunnocks are just about everywhere, especially bordering the paths/grass and the rougher vegetation alongside. 26 Goldfinches in the willows to the north of 'Fingers', all chattering away to each other, was a pleasing sight - and sound. The Lottis were busy on all three days at the peanuts, but I've not seen any with nest material yet (but it shouldn't be long). Another confiding species has been the Chaffinches suddenly; just a temporary phase, I suspect. I also had a flighty Fieldfare spring out of some bushes and a couple of Redwings pass over. And isn't it grand to hear the Chiffs once more!! Also, don't forget DK's female Stonechat!
PS. 101 Poch on 23rd; 2 GBBG on 27th; also pr Treecreeper nr.Sedgewick.