Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday 12th November

Another lovely morning in the park with the early mist clearing quickly to leave a bright morning which warmed up quite nicely towards the end. I started off with 4 Meadow Pipits over south east and a Water Rail squealing from the island, before meeting up with JA and checking out the main lake. I'd already had a couple of pairs of Gadwall and JA confirmed 16 Shoveler to go with the 5 that disappeared behind the island. With the help of his scope JA found a couple of Tufted Ducks. There was also a single Pochard. An early gull count returned 37 Black-headed and a single Common which increased throughout the morning, DK having in excess of 100 BHG and double figures CG later on.

On Fingers we had another 38 Gadwall, along with 5 Teal and a couple of Little Grebe. A Kingfisher perched up in the Willows over by the Dead Seat, giving good views. From the east side of Fingers I spotted a large flock of Woodpigeons, to the west, heading south, ~260. At Kramer hide we were distracted by a commotion in one of the trees on the opposite side of the river. Several Blackbirds were expressing their displeasure at something in the tree. On closer inspection Blue Tit, Wren, Chaffinch and Robin were also mobbing something in the tree. Unfortunately whatever it was, they were mobbing, will remain a mystery as it was on the other side of the tree, could it have been an Owl?

We headed up to the railway bridge at the STW and had 37 Black-headed Gulls on the power lines. On the 100 Acre big lake, more Gulls along with 9 Tufted Ducks and at least 5 Little Grebes.

Back to the park and pretty quiet although we did have a Skylark over west. A number of Skylarks were heard throughout the morning but we often struggled to locate them. Wagtails were regularly spotted overhead going in various directions, so probably locals. No sign of the usual Grey Wagtail on the Canoe Slalom so we cut back through to the main lake hide and met up with DK. Little to add on the duck front but Coots and Cormorants are still around in good numbers with the Cormorants using the trees on the south side as their roost, in preference to Kingsmead.

We all headed around Pressmead to have a look over Fenlake and were rewarded with a Stonechat on the fence.

There was little else to add to the morning sightings as we continued around the main lake to the car park. DK revealed he now has a key for the sightings board so this should now be a lot more up to date for anyone visiting. He also revealed that he'd had a Curlew over the previous day and Ranger Danny had reported a Jay.

Plenty of new stuff for the new recent sightings page!

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