Saturday, January 08, 2011

Saturday 8th January 2011

Warm and wet this morning although, happily, not as wet as expected. Much of the ice has cleared from the main lake and east fingers but it is still clinging on in west fingers. Plenty of wildfowl on the main lake with ~180 Coot, 70+ Tufted Ducks, 50+ Pochard and 19 Wigeon. Also a large number of Mute Swans and plenty of Gadwall. The Bewick's have seemingly moved on to Radwell.

I joined up with DK and JA this morning for a stroll around the park. We picked up up a few more ducks on fingers with 5 Shoveler, 2 Teal and a handful of Gadwall. Highlight of the morning occurred as we head back along the Spit to the main path. JA spotted a Bittern flying north across east fingers and alerted myself and DK to it as we were looking the other way. It had probably come out of the Crescent reed bed which we had walked around a little earlier. We all followed its track in the hope of picking it up again at Kramer hide or along the navigation channel, it wasn't to be however.

DK spotted a dead Kestrel between fingers and the navigation channel. I spotted a Sparrowhawk , very much alive, high over Kingsmead a little later.

A Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, Little Grebe and ~130 Starlings were seen from the old railway bridge at the STW, no sign of the Bittern which may have gone to Willington GP or anywhere in between!

We skirted the woodland walk and picked up a pair of Bullfinch before cutting through Fingers and spotting another female Bullfinch in the Rough. Back on the main path I spotted a Water Rail in the main lake reed bed.

We walked around the main lake confirming numbers of wildfowl as we went arriving back at the car park to end another great morning at the park.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The new year

Failed to connect with the Bewick's again this morning to follow on from another miss on New Years day, when they had departed earlier than expected. DK said he didn't see them come in last night so they may have found pastures new. Wildfowl looked a bit thin on the ground on the main lake, especially after 60 Canada Geese departed as we arrived.

A single Water Rail, in the crescent, with another calling on the north side of Fingers didn't compare to the 3 we had from Kramer hide on New Years day, with particularly good views of 2 of those.

With the river clear of ice now some of the ducks and the Little Grebes are making use of the clear water. Today we had 12 Tufted Ducks (2m) and a couple of Little Grebes on the navigation channel. On Riverside we came across a further 12 Tufted Ducks, 13 Pochard and 6 Gadwall down stream. On Riverside pond another half a dozen Gadwall, 2 Little Grebe and a single Tufted Duck.

Best view of the morning was a couple of Kestrels over 100 Acre interacting.

Several Grey Herons along the brook and a dead swan also.

Bullfinch in the car park finished off a pleasant if somewhat cold mornings walk around the park.

On New Year's day we also had a couple of Mistle Thrush on Kingsmead. There have also been several sightings of Bittern around the park the latest being yesterday evening by DK.