Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday 5th December 2009

We've been so lucky with the weather in recent weeks and once again the forecast rain was nowhere to be seen. At the car park 20+ Magpies flew over, west. There were 6 Tufted Ducks (2f) up by the Sailing Club.

7 Little Grebes

It was a Little Grebe day today with 6 on west fingers, 5 at the south end and 1 further up along one of the fingers. By the time we got to Kramer hide 5 Little Grebe had moved in and a further 2 joined them from the right. At least 1 of the earlier LG's was not present at Kramer Hide as it still had it's summer plumage making it easily identifiable. By the time we made it to the Dead Seat we spotted 2 LG's on west fingers, 1 being the Summer plumage bird. So there could be as many as 13 but probably somewhere between 8 and 13.

Little Grebe

There were still plenty of parties of Redwing blogging about and several parties of Long-tailed Tits. Treecreeper was heard along the navigation channel and in the Willows around Fingers, between the Steps and the Dead Seat.

Long-tailed Tit (one of EN's)

Kingfishers were very active with sightings around Fingers and 2 chasing about outside the main lake hide.

Very few Coot and Great Crested Grebe today although a single GCG had moved onto Fingers. A massive increase in the number of Gulls on the main lake this week with a lot of Common Gulls mixed in with the BHG's.

John had a solitary male Pochard and 2 pairs of Teal after I left.

ED: Forgot the Kestrel over the main lake island and the Sparrowhawk over Fingers.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sun 29th Nov

The rain ceased in time for another guided walk just before 9am. November is now wetter than July (taken at Elms Farm) with over 100mm.

First off, 6 Pochard on the far side of the main lake. Next 13 Cormorants on the Sailing Club; more ventured to the main lake later but upped sticks when the boats took to the water. Then a count of the swans - first count 31, joined by 13 more in from Octagon Farm direction (shooting?) = 44, another count up and they've grown to >50, and then a final count took the total to 61.

Off down the main drag. Meadow Pipit calling left - so it's dog walkers. Because the rain had only recently stopped, there were more 'DWs' around at this time than normal, the 8 o'clock and 9 o'clock owners having banded together. Not much hope then.

By 'the rough', and again at the near end of 'the spit', 2 Song Thrushes. Nowt much on Fingers ('lily-pads') except a couple of Moorhens and two Little Grebe performing under the overhang. No Otters today. A few Redwings 'seeeping' away and a mixed flock of tits. An angler on 'big Fingers' had cleared every thing out except the 5 resident swans (that makes 66) and a Mallard. Returning to the main path, a duo of Robins having a territorial dispute, tails raised. All ended amicably.

Around the other side of Fingers, more tits and a Gt. Spot by the 'dead seat'. By the gate to 'the rough', a very confiding Dunnock cum Lanceolated, a couple of good views of Redwing and some Goldfinches. Nothing much doing, except for a disobedient Springer in the 'sheep pen' plantation until we got down to 'the Navigation'. The Teal were hiding up by now.

Kingsmead was quiet, but we found another mixed flock of tits, including 9+ LTT, our second flock, and a confiding Treecreeper that every one had a chance to see. Not alot on '100 acre' bar half a dozen Pheasants and about 50 BH Gulls. Today we decided to return via 'riverside' which was damp but not under water. This only turned up Magpies, Crows and a noisy flock of House Sparrows (not enough for a flock really, more like a family group). The latter seem to be staging a wee come-back in the town this year.

Not much worth shouting about today, but enjoyable, none the less.

I shall be doing the next walk on New Year's Day, starting 9 o'clock outside the Visitor Centre. Let's hope for better weather and more birds.