Saturday, February 02, 2013

Saturday 02/02/2013

Managed a record shot of the Ferruginous Duck early this morning. Was hoping to go back later but there were too many people lining up to see this bird! Popped back in late this afternoon but couldn't find it. There was a lot of activity on the lake and the Pochard numbers had gone down from this mornings count so I suspect it had departed with some of those.

Ferruginous Duck
The Black-necked Grebe was also still there this morning and I think I had it this afternoon. This morning it was out in the middle of the lake in front of the dipping platform but this afternoon it was on the south side albeit at some distance in failing light with binoculars. Should have taken my scope!

Also this morning, while wandering around with DK and JA we came across a very confiding group of Siskins in the Alders along the east side of Fingers. We had already seen, possibly this same group a few minutes before. Shortly after we saw another 18 as they flew from the Crescent, 9 flew along the east side of Fingers, the rest returned to the Crescent Alders.

Siskin (m)

Siskin (f)

Siskin (m)

Siskin (m)

Siskin (f)

Siskin (f)
Acrobatic little birds!

Back in the park again tomorrow for a volunteer session so hoping the Ferruginous Duck will be back for a photo shoot in the morning.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Guided Walk 27/01/2013

As usual I arrived early and met up with TP and DK for a quick look around before the walk started. Thanks to TP who spotted a Ferruginous Duck (FD) close in to the dipping platform on the north side of the main lake. He quickly alerted DK and myself to its presence and we all had good views until it flew, with a small party of Pochards, to the south side. It remained mobile for the rest of the morning before departing at lunch time. We also had 8 Little Egrets on Kingsmead early on but they all departed shortly after we found them.

I headed back to the VC with TP to meet the group and had a scan for the FD but was unable to locate it. A good turnout for the walk and we all headed off around the west side of the main lake in the hope of picking up the FD from the south side. We had Greenfinch along the west side and the Collared Dove was taking nest material into the hedge behind the sailing club again.

A Grey Heron showed well in the south west corner and a Moorhen was added to the list. The ducks were spread across the south side and we were unable to locate the FD. Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Wigeon and Gadwall were all present along with Coot and Great Crested Grebe. I also spotted a Kingfisher heading along towards the south side hide.

A stop at the hide got us better views of the Wigeon. A good number of Cormorants were in the tree roost on the south side.

We continued along the south side stopping off in one of the fishing swims where good views of some Common Gulls were had as they were stood on a small patch of ice with some Black-headed Gulls. The FD was back over near the dipping platform and some of the group managed brief views before it flew off to the south side again.

A flock of c20 Goldfinch were spotted in the Alders across the Navigation Channel and we had good views of one of them perched at the top of one of the trees. We continued along the Navigation Channel but Fingers was mostly frozen still and the river was high and flowing fast so no bird life apart from a couple of Mute Swans. There were good numbers of Canada Geese on Kingsmead but a scan of the flock couldn't locate any interlopers, not even a Greylag!

We continued around Fingers towards the Sedgewick Seat and had a surprise Kingfisher in the meadow. A Lesser Black-backed Gull passed over south. Just past the Sedgewick Seat we heard some Bullfinches calling but were unable to locate them despite a stop at the hot spot by the Rough.

Out in the meadow we had good views of Redwing and Song Thrush and a party of 5 Herring Gulls passed over south. Next stop was the Visitor Centre where we added House Sparrow and brief views of the white rumps of departing Bullfinches to end the morning.

So a really good morning with 40 species on my personal list for the morning and most of those on the group list as well.

The next walk is Sunday 24th February, meet at the visitor centre at 9am.