Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday 9th Oct

Birds in/over the 'Rough' while ringing in the morning.

3 Golden Plover SE, 3 Mistle Thrush SE, 4 Redwing (blogging), 2 Blackcap, Chiff (abietinus type; caught = female), 5 Mipits S/SE, 5 Song Thrushes all "high-fliers", a Gt. Spot atop the lone Alder 4 Mipits SE, 4 Sky Larks S, a Kestrel hunting, a Buzzard over W then returned E, just one Siskin, and a slow flying flock of 40-50 Wood Pigeons going S. DK also had a Fieldfare. There was a definite increase in finches, especially Chaffinch. The Long-tailed Tit flock was a bit dis-jointed today but individuals hung around most of the morning.

Today's catch - Wren 2, Dunnock 1, Robin 2, Blackbird 1, Chiff 1, LTT 2, Blue Tit 5, Gt. Tit 7, Chaffinch 4, Greenfinch1.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Birds (not berries)

Mon: 2 Wigeon on the main lake, pair Gadwall, Kingfisher and 3 adult Herons on Fingers. A pair of Mute Swans and 5 cygnets working collectively to scare off 3 adult plus 3 cygnets from their territory, the main lake. These 5 are more advanced than the 3 cygnets on Fingers; they are showing more white and will even lift their wings to notify 'father' that they are also on their territory (so that he won't try to scare them off ... yet).

Not alot about mid-morning; 12 Cormorant, a similar number of Coots and, while we walked round, the Canada Geese returned en masse to the Sailing Club. Song Thrush were busy taking the sloes. The ground is 'rock hard' and we desperately need some decent rain.

Winter berries

On a grey day, the colours of the berries on the various trees and shrubs illuminated the drab green scene around the park. I apologise for the lack of sharpness on some pics (my battery was very low).

Already, the birds and the squirrels are taking an interest in this harvest on the colder mornings. Before long, the 'Scandinorske' thrushes will be arriving in droves (well - flocks) and by Christmas the berries will all be gone.

Hawthorn - the Redwings' favourite.

Cotoneaster - a large leaved variety with berries that are favoured by the many

Ivy - the salvation of many a Blackcap returning in early spring

Yew - already being taken by Blackbird and Mistle Thrush

Pyracantha - an unusual golden berried form of the Firethorn

Then there is Spindle, which the Bullfinch will take, and the hips of the Dog Rose, much favoured by the Greenfinch after a few frosts have softened the pulpy outer. We also have Wayfaring Tree and Guelder Rose, another berried bush loved by the Bullfinch.

One bush that has lost most of its berries already (... and its leaves) is the Elder which helped feed the many hungry migrant birds that have passed through the park this autumn.