Sunday, May 22, 2011

Guided Walk: Sunday 22nd May

Very breezy on Sunday morning for the guided walk, for which we had 4 people. The wind made it tricky for birding as the birds tend tuck themselves away in the cover, still we had all the usual species either heard or seen. Unfortunately the Slavonian Grebe from yesterday had gone so no star bird to show the group. Ed and team were ringing in the Rough again so we dropped in there for a quick demo, seeing Garden Warbler, female Blackcap and Great Tit in hand. A female Cuckoo was heard a couple of times, some where close by, while we watched the ringers. The male was also singing around the edge of the Rough.

At the Spit we watched the young Coots and had glimpses of at least one Great-crested Grebe chick. The Cettis Warbler was also heard.

Around the park many of the Spindle trees are covered in web. This is not a spider invasion but instead the work of the Spindle Ermine moth Caterpillar. You will note that many of the trees covered in web are missing most of their leaves as the caterpillars have eaten them all. Looking closer you may see long threads hanging from the trees and possibly groups of caterpillars heading down the threads as they depart a stripped tree in search of another food source.

Next stop on the tour was Meadow Lane on search of the Nightingale that has been there for a few weeks but unfortunately the windy conditions put paid to any chance of finding it. We did have good views of Sedge Warbler in the adjoining field though and singing Whitethroat, Blackcap and Garden Warbler.

Then it was back to the car park via a walk alongside the Cut on Riverside. A family of Mute Swans with 8 youngsters were on the flood channel.

In the car park we checked out the automatic toilet, a strange choice for a birding walk you may think, but the fledgling Blue Tits, photographed yesterday, had gone. All those lovely nest boxes around the park and they choose the toilet!!

Next walk is Sunday 26th June at 8am. Yes that is correct 8am not the usual 9am, we are running the summer walks an hour earlier as it usually goes a bit quiet by the time the walk starts otherwise. See you there.

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