Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thursday 18th and Saturday 20th April

As usual I got to the park early on Thursday and as I was putting on my boots I heard the unmistakeable song a Grasshopper Warbler across the other side of the car park. Having kitted up I hurried across to the area where I had heard the Gropper but it was silent and didn't sing again as far as I know. Having failed to find the bird I continued along the path to the meadow and cut back across to the main path and down to the Spit for another Otter vigil. Again I was blessed with lovely light but no Otter! I did see a Common Whitethroat, a Common Buzzard, 5 Little Egrets and I heard a Sedge Warbler. Not a bad start to the day.

Blue Tit
Later I joined the rangers and we went out egg oiling along the Great Ouse in Bedford. This involves finding as many Canada Goose nests as possible and oiling the eggs with paraffin oil to prevent them developing. The aim is to prevent the Canada Goose population increasing any further in Bedford. Winter counts peaked at 221 in the park so the population needs to be managed.

This morning (Saturday) I was a bit later than I had planned but still first in the car park. Three Reed Warblers were singing, 2 along the north side of the main lake between the Steps and the Crescent and the other one in the Crescent reedbed. A Common Whitethroat was found along the Spit again and 2 Sedge Warblers were singing along there.
Common Whitethroat
 At the STW bridge this Sedge Warbler was singing well from the reedbed.
Sedge Warbler
I really liked the reflection of this Grey Heron at Kramer hide, shame about the reed through the beak :-(

Grey Heron
Shots of the day came along the south side of the main lake where this Common Whitethroat had chosen a Blackthorn in blossom to feed in. I can't quite decide which of the 2 shots I favour but I'm edging towards the second one.
Common Whitethroat
Common Whitethroat
Some other highlights from the morning courtesy of DK:

20 Willow Warblers
22 Blackcaps
10 Chiffchaffs
3 Reed Warblers
4 Sedge  Warblers
3 C. Whitethroats
2 Oystercatchers
4 C. Terns
fem Redstart

On 100 acre:
3 Redshanks
2 Oystercatchers
Common Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
2 Dunlins
Ringed Plover
3 C. Whitethroats
4 Willow Warblers
4 Blackcaps
Common Gull
Little Egret
Yellow Wagtail

Monday, April 15, 2013

Priory today - fall of Willow Warblers

26 Willow Warblers in all, most along the sunny, sheltered, south side.
(Included groups of 6, 4 and 3). Also:
male Redstart, Yellow Wagtail, Common Sandpiper, 9 Chiffchaffs, 11
Blackcaps (8m+3f), 11 Swallows, 135 Sand Martins, (+2 House Martins which TP
had), 2 Redshanks.

Per DK