Monday, August 25, 2014

Saturday 23/08/2014

On the birding front it remains quiet in the park although the autumn/winter ducks are beginning to gather with increasing numbers of Gadwall and the first Teal of the autumn this week. Other species are on the move south so we are seeing Willow Warblers regularly at the moment. These are often associating with the roaming Tit flocks that can be found as you walk around the park. If you come across one of these, Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Chiffchaff can often be found in the flock with a little patience. Listen for the high pitched contact calls of the Long-tailed Tits which usually give away the location of a flock. A handful of Common Terns remain and can be seen over the main lake, youngsters can be identified by their browner plumage. Another couple of weeks and they'll all be gone on their way back to central and southern Africa.

100 Acre continues to evolve with the introduction of new fences and the cutting of large areas. This area is still managed by the gravel extraction company so we have little control over what gets done when. Although disappointing that some areas have been cut it was good to see that the wader area at the Castle Mill end had been, we just need a bit more water now to attract some passing waders this autumn. Hopefully in future we will be able to leave some areas uncut to support flocks of Goldfinches and Linnets through the winter months. In the short term, at least, it is likely that cattle will be introduced on some areas to keep the vegetation in check. Despite the disturbance on the site this week we still managed to find a single Green Sandpiper and good numbers of Swallows were skimming over the cut sections hoovering up the insects. Of note also was the large number of Little Grebes on the site with 14 counted at the south end of the big lake alone and 20+ altogether. Looks like they had a good year. A couple of Common Gulls were loafing on the earth works, with a bunch of Black-headed Gulls. We also had a single Yellow Wagtail

Other good news from the week was that DK spotted an Otter on the back river at the Sewage Works bridge, the first sighting for a while.

Next weekend it's time for the monthly guided bird walk so come and join me on the hunt for autumn migrants. Meet outside the visitor centre on Sunday 31st August at 8am.