Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday 27th August 2011

After a bright start cloud moved in throughout the morning but fortunately we beat the rain which arrived late morning. I met up with DK along the main path down to Fingers, there were quite a few Sand Martins over the south side of the main lake with one or 2 Swifts about also. Not many Reed Warblers in evidence in the main lake reed bed this week. JA joined us along the Spit as we scanned the ducks for anything interesting. A Little Grebe was the first of the Autumn/Winter. A single Gadwall was also on west Fingers along with the usual mix of Mallards, Coots and Moorhens. Back along the Spit and around the Crescent we had little of note except for a key we found in the Crescent which we later handed into the Rangers.

DK headed back towards the Steps as myself and JA headed along the navigation channel. I spotted a Kingfisher over the main lake zipping passed the east side fishing swims as I looked back over my shoulder! It was quiet at Kramer hide but at the viewpoint across Kingsmead the Cormorant roost was quite busy with 20 birds in attendance. JA spotted a Sparrowhawk overhead as we headed up to the STW.

We were disappointed to see that 100 Acre had been cut again. This has removed most of the Teasels and Thistles which would have been the Winter food source for Goldfinches and Linnets, so I guess we won't be seeing many of those this winter. I just can't see why this area wasn't left wild for the winter.

Still on 100 Acre the big lake had a small party 6-8 Pochards at the far end and ~12 Tufted Ducks near end by the cycle track. At least 2 Little Grebe were also spotted. Back up by the STW a Kingfisher was heard over 100 Acre, cutting across towards the river. At the bridge I spotted a Sedge Warbler in the fallen Willow on the river by the STW. There was a flock of ~30 Goldfinch around the STW entrance.

Back in the park, at the Rough, EG was ringing as part of the final CES session of the year. He already had 20+ birds when we arrived so not a bad morning although we didn't prove to be lucky charms as he only had 2 from the nets during our stay. Of more interest was the aerial display provided by a Hobby hunting Swifts over the New Meadow. A truly spectacular display provided fruitless for the Hobby as all the Swifts managed to keep away from those talons. EG mentioned that a couple of Jays had been noisy neighbours earlier in the morning.

The only other thing of note was the colour ringed Common Tern we came across int he south west corner of the main lake. Blue over white on the left leg and the metal ring over white on the right leg. This was one of Mark Thomas' birds from Broom, hopefully more information to come on that one.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Guided Walk Sunday 21st August

A good turnout for the guided walk this morning so I was glad that Jane (Ranger) could accompany us to help out. We started off by the main lake pointing out the various wildfowl on the lake plus the Gulls and Terns. A party of House Martins was feeding overhead with at least one Swift. We moved on to the Finger lakes with a short stop near the Steps to listen to and identify several of the birds calling from the edge of the Rough. Young Reed Warblers were also active in the reeds along the edge of the main lake.

At the Finger lakes we headed along the Spit, stopping occasionally, to check out the ducks. Most of these were Mallards, with males in various stages of eclipse plumage. There was also a single Gadwall over by the Dead Seat. The Shoveler that had been around earlier could not be found. The Moorhen with the one remaining youngster was still adding weed to a new nest. Coot and Grey Heron were also present.

We continued around the Crescent where a calling Chiffchaff proved impossible to spot through the foliage and more Reed Warblers were calling in the reed bed.

It was quiet along the navigation channel and at Kramer hide so next stop was Kingsmead where we watched the ~10 Cormorants roosting on the far side with another trying to join the roost but failing to select an appropriate branch on a couple of occasions. I don't know whether the others were laughing at it or disagreeing with it's arrival.

Moving on to the Sedgewick seat we had excellent views of a couple of Treecreepers moving up the trunk of one of the large Willows. A party of Tits also moved through the canopy. We took a look around the Rough where birds were numerous but hard to get a look at. Goldfinch, C. Whitethroat, Blackcap were all heard and/or seen. On exiting the Rough a Great-spotted Woodpecker was calling but as we attempted to track it down it went quiet so we didn't get a look at it.

We headed back to the car park taking in the hedgerows around the back of the Visitor Centre but failed to add anything new to our list.

Many thanks to all who joined me on the walk this morning, next one is Sunday September 25th at 9am.