Sunday, October 27, 2013

Guided Walk - 27/10/2013

A good turnout for the guided bird walk again this morning, despite the blustery conditions. The wind steadily increased in strength throughout the morning but at least the rain went through just before dawn and stayed away for the rest of the morning.

After a brief stop on the dipping platform on the main lake we headed down to Fingers to check out the ducks. We had a good variety if not good numbers with Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Shoveler and Tufted Duck all present. There were no Little Grebes to be found after the 3 on Saturday morning.

Along the Navigation Channel there were a few cormorants at roost on Kingsmead and we found a nice flock of Long-tailed Tits moving between the Woodland walk and the Willows by the Navigation. As we watched them flying across the meadow I spotted a Treecreeper in with them and just managed to get onto it as it moved up one of the Willows before it disappeared around the back. Despite a prolonged search we failed to spot it again although it did call strongly at one point and another answered nearby.

Next stop was the viewpoint over 100 Acre but there was little of note although distant views of a couple of Little Grebes was nice.

Back in the park we cut through the Woodland walk and then around Fingers where a couple of Bullfinches were heard either side of the path just past the Sedgewick Seat.

Final stop was on the south side of the main lake for a look through the gulls. Black-headed Gulls made up the majority of them with Common Gulls in the low teens and a couple of Herring Gulls.

Another flock of Long-tailed Tits were making their way along the south side of the main lake and a Carrion Crow was eating the apples in the tree in the south west corner.

Not a great list for the morning unsurprisingly given the conditions. Surprised we didn't manage a Kingfisher having had several sightings on Saturday morning and having seen one earlier just after I arrived. Highlight for the morning was the Treecreeper, great little birds.

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

There have been good numbers of Starlings coming from roost over the park early in the morning with a 6000 in the week and 7000 on Saturday morning. Given this news I decided to visit the neighbouring Willington GP on Saturday evening to check out the Starling roost. It was good to see 10,000+ come in at around 17:15 and there was a bit of display before they all disappeared into the reed bed at around 17:30. A few more small flocks came in afterwards but always went straight into the reeds. Well worth a visit if you get the chance, hopefully the displays will improve. Here are a couple of pictures:

Starling Murmuration

The bulk of the Starling flock