Saturday, July 03, 2010

Saturday 3rd July 2010

Another glorious summer day began with the Mute Swan and Canada Goose counts on the main lake. This week it was 99 Mute Swans + 3 cygnets and 90 Canada Geese. Add to that the 2 Mute Swans and 5 cygnets on Fingers. There were a lot of Swifts about this morning over the main lake. A Reed Warbler burbled in the reeds by the main lake opposite the VC. Several more were flitting to and fro between the Crescent and the main lake reed bed further along the path. Joined DK and strolled around the Crescent and the Spit, No sign of the Gadwall that DK had in the week and little at all really other than Mallards, Coots and Moorhens. The Great Crested Grebe chick was accompanied by one adult with the other adult unseen (on nest somewhere?). JA joined us having just seen a Little Egret passing over. DK had another later on but sadly there won't be a photograph, his memory card was back home in the computer! Needless to say the air was a little blue, or so I was told.

Myself and JA headed off along the nav channel and had good views of a Sedge Warbler in full song with several flight songs thrown in. Incidentally it was very quiet at Kramer hide with the young Jackdaws now nowhere to be seen.

As we headed off along the cycle track a Sparrowhawk popped up out of the trees along the Cut having put the wind up all the birds in the area. There was little of note on the 100 Acre lakes although a Redshank was heard. Plenty of Skylarks up towards the bypass a large party of Rooks just over the bypass. Looked like youngsters hanging around by the edge of the field and adults bringing food to them. No sign of any Yellow Wagtails by the Tern Pool.

Having just crossed back over the bypass all the Rooks suddenly got up and then a couple of Buzzards came into view and flew directly overhead grappling with each other a few times as they went. They were last seen over Castle Mill.

Back in the park we caught up with EN, ringing in the Rough and having quite a successful morning.

Red Admiral, Comma, Meadow Brown, Tortoise shell and white butterflies were seen throughout the morning with Comma being the most frequently seen.

A quiet morning all told but not unusual for this time of year. There are still plenty of singing Warblers to be had but much more difficult to see in the thick foliage. The Cuckoos seem to have departed and once again no Kingfisher!

Monday, June 28, 2010

w/e Sun 27th June

Midsummer birding is always steady with little change; that's 'cos we're in between the last of the spring and the first of the autumn movements. Saying this, some Black-headed Gulls have returned already from their breeding grounds.

There are still large numbers of moulting Canadas on the main lake (on the grass if you're out very early) and the Mute Swan flock continues to feed on the much unsolicited pondweed; 91 of each were counted on Sunday. Quotations have been sought to tackle the weed problem.
On Sunday, I conducted what is likely to be my last guided walk. Checking out a lone crow flying overhead, I scored a Rook instead. Most of the birdsong activity was coming from either Blackcaps or Song Thrushes; in contrast the Reed Warblers were very quiet this week.

During the week, we caught two juvenile Garden Warblers, which were moulting their median coverts. This is about as far as they go, preferring to finish their main moult on the wintering grounds in equatorial Africa.

One couldn't help noticing the young Jackdaws. Their squawking could be heard whereever you were in the conservation and new meadow areas. They mostly sat up in the trees between the Kramer hide and the old dipping platform, waiting for mum or dad to come back with food. Meantime, they "chatted each other up", as they do.

Another bird that was conspicuous was the Common Whitethroat. The males gave their short, scratchy song from the bush tops as they moved around looking for insects for their broods. The early birds are already going about having a second brood after sucessfully rearing their first.

We had a short early morning ringing session where we retrapped a female Blackbird. She had a broken tail as a result of a lack of food at a critical point in the moult cycle last autum. She had originally been ringed as a juvenile female five years previously - to the day.