Saturday, May 02, 2009

Saturday 2nd May 2009

An early start this morning failed to return the hoped for Otters. Having dipped out we decided to walk out to Danish Camp along the riverside loop, returning along the main cycle path. At the STW reed bed Several Sedge Warblers were seen and 2 showed well while playing a game of who can climb higher on the reeds! At the first pool on 100 Acre Lapwing and Redshank were seen along with female Mallard and 9 ducklings (probably the 10 from last week :-() Not much in evidence on the larger pits although a couple of Great Crested Grebes on the new workings.

Heading up to the bypass a number Skylarks were seen on either side of the track. 2 more Redshank seen in the puddles in the workings just by the bypass and 10 Mute Swans and 2 Canada Geese in the field the other side. Not much on the Tern Pool.

Following the riverside track there were plenty of Common Whitethroat showing well, but it was the return leg along the main track that provided the gems. First was a Lesser Whitethroat singing in the scrub between the track and the Willington playing fields, even got a glimpse of it as it flew to a new bush. A little further along a family party of 5 Mistle Thrushes crossed the track and watched us from high above us in the evergreen trees.

We crossed the brook and were heading back through the wooded section when I heard a Nightingale singing and we stopped and listened for a while before it flew to a new song post giving us a glimpse of this "often heard but seldom seen" bird. Just before the Gravel works road another 2 Mistle Thrushes were seen on the open field between the track and the small lake.

Mistle Thrush

Back at the Tern Pool a few Sand Martins had arrived and I glimpsed a Common Buzzard heading away from us towards the STW. As we got to the bridge over the bypass we located the Buzzard and as we watched we realised there were another 2 higher in the same thermal. Another flew in and joined the 3 with some interaction between 2 of the birds. Then a 5th bird flew in but continued on towards the north end of riverside. As we continued back towards the park the 4 remaining Buzzards drifted back towards the bypass still climbing on the thermal until they were just specs in the sky.

Back in the park little else of note. Chiffchaff were less obvious this week, probably nesting now having been in a while now, but as mentioned the Common Whitethroat were much in evidence today. We had a chat with EN and Ed, who were ringing in the Rough, and were privileged to see 2 Common Whitethroats in the hand. What a cracking morning.