Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saturday 2nd April 2011

This is such a great time of year with the summer migrants arriving or moving through. There is always something new to see and the park didn't let us down this morning.

On arrival there was singing Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff in the car park, a good start. No sign of any Martins over the main lake, plenty of Canada Geese on the island with a couple of Greylags in the mix.

As I walked along the main path a Blackcap was heard singing in the distance and a Meadow Pipit called has it flew over north. Continuing along the path the Blackcap was pinned down to the south end of the Rough, another was singing at the entrance to the Spit.

Spotted JA along the Spit and headed down to see if he had the Cettis Warbler this morning. Before I got there a burst of noise from my right, by the Crescent, answered that question as the Cettis announced itself. It then spent the morning moving up and down the length of the Spit, singing at regular intervals.

On west Fingers 4 Gadwall and a couple of Teal. On east Fingers 8 Tufted Ducks and the resident Mute Swans still trying to evict the last 2 youngsters. At Kramer hide we were entertained by a Sparrowhawk giving a Crow a taste of it's own medicine before a couple more Crows arrived as back up. A single Male Teal in front of the hide was the highlight on the lake. The resident pair of Canadas now seem to have a nest with one in residence while the other stood guard. A Blackcap was singing behind the hide.

Then it was off to 100 Acre for a look around the lakes and were we in for a treat. A disappointing start at the first small lake which has been pretty quiet for some time now. We turned our attention to the larger lake and JA soon had a Redshank in the scope, As I checked that out a Swallow flew through the view and continued across the field and over the river towards Riverside. We continued along the cycle track and a closer look at the big lake revealed Gadwall, Wigeon and Teal snoozing by the edge of the lake and a Redshank working the edge. A couple of Little Grebe were feeding out near the island, while several Lapwing were cruising about.

Down to Meadow Lane GP, quiet as usual with just a single Tufted Duck and the resident Coot. We cut across to the big lake again but stopped to watch a Common Buzzard and a Crow having an aerial dispute. Another Common Buzzard joined the fray and the 2 engaged in their own aerial display before parting with one moving off south over the park and the other following the river north. On the lake still good numbers of Tufted Ducks present and possible nesting Canada Geese on the island. A/the Swallow was spotted again over the big lake before heading off over the Sewerage works.

At the north end of the big lake plenty of Greylags still hanging around. A single Oystercatcher was seen along with a minimum of 6 Redshank with a pair seen mating. More Lapwing around the edge of the lake and few more Wigeon, but no where near the number seen last week.

We cut across country and back to the cycle track at the east side of Meadow Lane GP. We flushed 3 Snipe although it is possible that this was the same bird flushed three times. There were a couple more Gadwall on one of the excavations where some water has accumulated. Three Sand Martins were also feeding over the excavations.

Back on the cycle track we headed back to the park and a single Jay was moving east along the trees by the track. And back to the first lake on 100 Acre where a couple of Shelduck had arrived to make things interesting. As we watched those JA spotted a single Mallard duckling feeding on the north side, looking quite well developed, so a good few days old.

Back in the park we cut around the back of Fingers and had a couple of Treecreepers just past the Sedgewick Seat. A singing Blackcap in the Sheep Pen and then a second quite close by keeping quiet but showing particularly well, allowing JA to get his camera out to try and get a photo. I ended up taking the picture as I was better positioned with no branches in the way. Down by the Rough plenty more Blackcaps and the odd singing Chiffchaff as well.

We decided to finish with a circuit of the main lake and as we approached the Spit our ears pricked and we both said Sedge Warbler simultaneously. Despite our hanging around the area for a while there was no more song so that will have to go down as a possible. I phoned DK to see if he could confirm but he hadn't had one, however he did alert us to a Common Tern on the main lake. As we continued our circuit we connected with the Tern which was on one of the white buoys in front of the sailing club. A little later and the Tern was on the jetty in front of the sailing club where it remained until we departed.

Along the back of the sailing club it was Greenfinch alley with plenty of calling and song. Then a Willow Warbler was heard and tracked down to the Willows the other side of the wall in the Marina. Back at the car park the Willow Warbler was still singing. We were also informed of a couple of Little Egrets down at Fingers, this coming from one of the regular dog walkers.
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