Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday 26th November

After a bright start and a beautiful sunrise the wind got up and it was quite cool this morning. I met up with JA along the main path who had already had Wigeon on the main lake. 42 Lapwing were circling over the park. Further along the main path we stopped at the dipping platform and found a couple of Tufted Ducks over by the hide.

At Fingers the 3 Little Grebe were in their usual corner. 3 Redwing were flushed from the hedge as we walked along the Spit and a couple of Shoveler, female and eclipse male, were spotted over by the Dead Seat. Met up with DK at the end of the Spit where half a dozen Gadwall were found. DK headed off to the Rough while myself and JA headed up the east side of Fingers. JA spotted a fourth Little Grebe in the south east corner, the other three were up the north end by this time.

We continued out to the cycle track and checked out 100 Acre. There were 67 Canada Geese on the big lake with another large group grazing at the north end of the lake. A good number of Black-headed Gulls were also present but little else could be seen. While I was counting the Geese a Chiffchaff was calling from a little further along the track. We continued on past Meadow Lane GP to the new fields before the bypass which were empty. From the Bridge over the bypass we could see 16 Tufted Ducks along with some Coot on the Tern Pool.

We turned and headed back along the cycle track and suddenly had ~100 Golden Plover overhead. They looked like they were coming down to the new fields but ended up circling before heading off towards Willington. A Snipe flew over heading towards 100 Acre and a Sparrowhawk was spotted heading in the opposite direction, back towards the bypass. As we got back to 100 Acre we noticed a lot of Lapwing in the air, conservative estimates were of about 700 birds. They provided quite a spectacle as they swirled about over the big lake. There were also a dozen Pochard, a couple of Little Grebe and 7 Teal on the big lake. There were a further 5 Teal on the small lake and a male Reed Bunting gave good views whilst it fed on the seed heads by the cycle track. ~20 Goldfinch were quite mobile in the same area.

We continued over the New Cut and along the southern edge of Riverside but had little else of note before we arrived back at the car park.

Guided Walk tomorrow, hope the wind dies down, doesn't look like it will though. Should be plenty to see though, meet at the Visitor Centre at 9am.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday 25th November

Stonechat back again 'in its usual spot' after the mowing. (per DK).

For those who don't know "its usual spot" is Fenlake Meadows, usually showing on the fence.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday 24th November

Back from yet another day in the park working with Danny and Nicky on Fingers lake, coppicing the "Fingers". Danny and Nicky had been out yesterday and cleared all of the brash left over from Tuesdays endeavours, so we cracked on with clearing the second Finger. A large Willow proved problematic to fell which slowed us down a little but we cleared a reasonable amount and got rid of all the brash on the fire.

Not much to report on the wildlife front although we were treated to views of 2 Kingfishers chasing across east Fingers as we boated out to the Fingers to begin work.

Earlier I met up with DK and we had most of the Duck species we would expect at this time of year, Gadwall, Tufted, Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal. we also had a small flock of Lapwing circling over the main lake. The 3 Little Grebe were present as usual in the south east corner of east Fingers. Redwing were present in reasonable numbers in the Rough and along the west side of Fingers lake and I also had a flock of 20 in the area behind the visitor centre before I met up with the rangers. A Mink was seen on west Fingers at the south end.

The next volunteer day is rapidly approaching on Sunday 4th December. This will be some selective coppicing in the woodland walk plantation. Join us between 10am and 2pm.  

Irresponsible Dog Owners Beware..

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday 22nd November

Just back from a day in the park, working on a couple of the "Fingers" of Fingers Lake with Nicky and Danny. Beforehand I had a quick look around Fingers and had 32 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler, 15 Teal and 3 Little Grebe. There were a couple of Wigeon and 5 Tufted Ducks on the main lake.

Back to task of the day, we continued the coppicing work that has commenced on the 2 Fingers this year. Danny took down a couple of the larger Willows on the Finger, the Rangers had already worked on. Meanwhile myself and Nicky started cutting our way onto the next Finger. By the end of the day the first Finger had a covering of brash ready to be burned on the next visit and the second Finger had a clear path down the middle, allowing better access for the chainsaw.

This work is part of a regular cycle where up to 3 of the Fingers are coppiced each year.

While we sat and ate our lunch a Water Rail was heard squealing over at the south end of Fingers, or possibly the Crescent. 15 Redwing passed over south east.