Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday 25th September

My first weekend at the park for a while, having been away on holiday, and it's turned to Autumn! As I walked down to the main lake the distinctive quack of the Gadwall led me to the north west corner where 46 Gadwall were picking through the weed along with a large number of Coot and 15 Wigeon. Mute Swan numbers were well down compared to my last visit but Coot numbers have remained stable if not increased. The single female Tufted with the white mark around the bill was on the south side of the lake along with a single Little Grebe. Black-headed Gull numbers have significantly increased with quite a few loafing about over towards the main lake hide. A Sparrowhawk flew over the east side of the main lake and was intercepted by 4 Carrion Crows over the south east corner for some spectacular aerobatics.

At Fingers a single male Tufted Duck, 4 Teal and another 2 Gadwall intermingled with the numerous Mallard. Another Little Grebe was feeding around the edge of the Crescent until we spooked it.

At Kramer hide a Blackcap was calling but that was about all. We headed up to the STW reedbed looking for the Cetti's, that DK had earlier in the week, no sign but a couple of Mute Swans on the River were having a face off. A Kingfisher passed over the bridge and up the Cut. On the first small lake on 100 Acre a number of Mallard were accompanied by a single Tufted Duck and a Little Grebe and on the big lake Pochard numbers were well into double figures.

Back around Fingers little of note with very few birds visible or calling. As we headed down the main path by the Crescent a Chiffy was calling. Along the Canoe Slalom a couple of Grey Wagtails were feeding and Mistle Thrush flew over up near The Barns Hotel.

Back at the main lake a couple of Wigeon remained on the south side of the island and most of the Gadwall, along with another Wigeon, remained in the north west corner although half flew, along with the one Wigeon, as we headed for the car park.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday 22nd

Details of the morning's ringing session can be found here.
A new species was ringed.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Guided walk Sunday 19th

A cool, blustery day with occasional showers and grey skies.
200 Barnacle geese flew west shortly after 9am; Robin Edwards counted c.185 at Willington earlier. 3 Tufted took off from the lake.

Still lots of Coot feeding on the aquatic weed which is now spreading well out from the NE corner of the main lake. Two young Moorhen, possible about 3 weeks old, were being fed weed a little way down from the centre building. A very good count of House Martins was feeding over the lake and the trees surrounding Fingers; one Sand Martin was seen closing in on the island. A male Sparrowhawk drifted in from the east, only to be teased by the martins.

All 5 cygnets were present on Fingers together with 7 Gadwall (5 males, 2 females), a couple of Heron and umpteen Mallard. A Kingfisher was heard to call. We bumped into two flocks of Long-tails accompanied by a few Blue Tits. There was a Marsh Tit in the 'rough', but no warblers were heard this morning. Very noticeable were Robins, many now able to sing their winter song to defend a territory.