Sunday, March 02, 2014

1st and 2nd March 2014

A couple of early starts this weekend so I managed to catch the Little Egrets still at roost in the Finger Lakes, 11 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. We had Water Rail on both mornings in the Crescent reed bed but I had a very nice view this morning as one moved through a thinner section of reeds and stopped to call. Amazing how it sounds like multiple birds calling, although many birds seem to have this ability. Many times I'm looking around for a flock and a single individual of a species flies over calling!

100 Acre is still the place to be for birds. The migratory waders are starting to arrive so Oystercatchers and Redshanks are now around. The presumed escapee Black-winged Stilt seems to be spending some time over here now, having been at Willington GP for the last few weeks. There are still plenty of Wigeon with ~200 found on Saturday morning, and most of the other duck species can be found here. A pair of Great Crested Grebes were displaying on Saturday and Little Grebes are also to be found on most of the pools. Lapwings are still around in good numbers but Golden Plovers are harder to come by now with the really big locks seemingly moved on. We also had a Common Buzzard along the river past Waitrose and a couple of Jays here to, the first for some time in the area.

These are just the highlights of a great couple of mornings birding in and around the park.

Today it was another volunteer day in the park and we managed to coppice a couple of sections of Willow along the main path despite the water haven risen significantly over night making access a little tricky in places. Then we moved around to the main lake hide and tidied up the bank behind the reed bed and continued with the thinning work in the plantation behind the hide. All in all a good days work so thanks as always to all the volunteers who turned out today. 

Following are a few pictures from this weekend in the park and on 100 Acre:

Greylag Geese over 100 Acre

Black-winged Stilt on 100 Acre (Presumed escapee)

Black-winged Stilt on 100 Acre (Presumed escapee)

Black-winged Stilt on 100 Acre (Presumed escapee)

Common Buzzard getting a hard time from the local Gulls

Common Buzzard over 100 Acre

Common Buzzard (Finger Lakes)

Common Buzzard displaying (Finger Lakes)

Gadwall (m) - Check out that plumage, stunning!

Shoveler (m) - Not a bad looker either!