Saturday, May 01, 2010

Saturday 1st May 2010

The forecast showers didn't arrive this week and, in fact, the morning turned out to be quite sunny as the early cloud moved away, only for the cloud to build again late in the morning.

In the car park a Common Whitethroat and a Blackcap were singing. A Cuckoo was calling from the south west corner of the main lake and another Common Whitethroat was singing on the island, yet another was singing behind the Visitor Centre. A large mix of Martins, Swallows and Swifts over the main lake (70+). Met DK along the main path just past the Steps and he'd had 3 House Martins and ~65 Swifts with ~40 of the Swifts and accompanying Sand Martins very high up. He'd also had a Common Sandpiper along the north shore of the main lake a little earlier.

JA arrived and DK departed missing a flyover Lapwing, heading out over Fenlake. Then we heard the Common Sandpiper calling as it flew past, west, along the north shore. Then it was an Oyster Catcher calling to the west of us. At the Crescent Reed Warblers had increased significantly compared to last week with ~15 along the north shore reed bed and in the Crescent (per DK).

More C. Whitethroats along the east side of the park (4), many new arrivals this week. Chiffchaffs seem to have gone a bit quiet this week so probably getting down to the business of nesting now although a few more were singing later as the sun warmed us up.

At the STW plenty of Sedge Warblers singing from the reed bed and along the river, a couple of Tufted Ducks and a Lapwing in and around the first lake on 100 Acre. Shoveler and Gadwall on the big lake. At Meadow Lane GP the Little Grebe was still in residence along with the pair of Coots.

Continuing along the cycle track, Skylarks were up and then, as we headed up to the bridge, a Lesser Whitethroat was heard singing. We tracked it down to the hedgerow at the entrance to the workings as you turn left at the top of the slope, instead of right to cross the bridge. We stood within 15 yards of the singing bird but could not get a view, they really are masters at skulking! As we stood there a Redshank called behind us and flew towards the Tern Pool as we turned around.

We crossed the bridge and watched the Lapwings in the crop fields and few Tufted Ducks on the Tern Pool. No Yellow Wagtail this week but a pair of Grey Partridge in the field just past the Tern Pool, along with a couple of Skylarks.

Returning along the track a Common Buzzard was spotted on the opposite side of the bridge, almost exactly where where we saw one last week. A Carrion Crow intercepted it and persisted in it's harassing of the Buzzard for some minutes as we watched and pondered as to why corvids do this. It's understandable when a predator is close to a nest or young but to waste so much energy in a pointless chase seems to go against natures rules, fun to watch though.

We crossed the bridge and picked up the buzzard again as it descended to a tree on the STW site. Then another Buzzard was spotted overhead, and another, I raised my binoculars and there were 2 more much higher above the first 2, then another joined the high level pair, superb!

Back at the smaller lake on 100 Acre a couple more Lapwing were present.

At the Rough we stood at the gate and listened to a Garden Warbler singing, new in this week, DK had mentioned this earlier, saying that yesterday there had been good numbers in the Rough.

Making a loop around the main lake we took the south side path, open now after the closed winter wildfowl season. The repaired seat is looking good. Having missed a call from DK we failed to check out Fenlake and see the Winchat over there. DK also had a report of Grasshopper Warbler over on Fenlake earlier.

A couple of Sedge Warblers were singing from the bushes a little further along the south side. 9 Common Terns were counted over the main lake from the disabled fishing swim. Along the west side Greenfinch were singing along with a couple of Goldfinch and as we turned the corner at the Beefeater a Robin was spotted with a beak full of food. The end of another cracking morning.