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!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

This weekend 05 & 06 November

Just back from Priory after a day coppicing in the Sheep Pen. Who needs Gym Membership, I'm totally "cream crackered"!

Anyway what was about I hear you ask?

Yesterday was quite foggy for most of the time I was in the park although it did clear some what just before I left. Met up with JA early on and we headed down to Fingers as we couldn't see to the the other side of the main lake. It was evident that there were quite a few Redwings in the scrub around the Labyrinth and the Rough as their calls could be heard and odd ones were moving across towards the Visitor Centre.

At Fingers there was little to see with just a few Gadwall and a couple of Teal keeping the Mallards, Moorhens and resident Mute Swans company. A Kingfisher passed through as we walked along the Spit.At least three Corn Buntings passed over head, north, (from the crescent roost?) as we stood at the end of the Spit.

I would say it was quiet as we headed along the east side of Fingers, except for the road noise from the bypass which was amplified in the still foggy conditions. Not much to see although we did have some Siskins, and Redwings over, just couldn't see them in the fog!

Up at the old railway bridge over the river we had, what is becoming, our regular Kingfisher siting but we didn't bother going any further along the cycle track as the visibility was so low we wouldn't have seen anything anyway.

We headed back into the park and cut through Fingers, passed the Rough, and Redwings were still calling and moving about in the Willows and around the Rough. Impossible to tell how many but decent numbers given the number of calls. We then did a loop around the south side of the main lake, taking in the Canoe Slalom where the usual single Grey Wagtail was seen. On the main lake we managed to spot 11 Gadwall and 3 Wigeon from the main lake hide. A party of Pochard with a single Tufted Duck flew in for a brief stay before departing north east. A couple more Wigeon flew in when we reached the west side of the lake. There was a single Common Gull in with the Black-headed Gulls and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull was also present.

This morning, before the volunteer session started I did a quick loop around the park. Weather was overcast and quite cool with the wind having shifted around so it was coming out of the north. The Redwings had moved on this morning with just the odd one passing over during the morning.

On the main lake 15 Tufted Ducks were feeding together and 5 Pochard were close by. On Fingers there were at least 24 Gadwall, 6 Teal and 3 Wigeon. A Kingfisher was also seen flying over east Fingers. A single Skylark and a Fieldfare passed over as I looped around Fingers. I also spotted 78 Starlings heading south west as I headed down the east side of the main lake. There was nothing new on the main lake although the Tufted Ducks were still present, the Pochard seemed to have left. A single Common Gull was seen again along with the usual Black-headed Gulls.

At 10am I joined the volunteer group and we cleared a large section of the Sheep Pen. Well done and thanks to everyone who helped out today.