Saturday, April 04, 2015

Saturday 4th April Highlights

Nesting Heron, 5 Sand Martins, single Swallow, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Shelduck in the park this morning. Also 2 Singing male Blackcaps. The one in the Long Hedge just at the exit from Fingers and another on the south side of the main lake by the bridge over the Leat.

On 100 Acre there were at least 4 Redshanks, a pair of Oystercatchers 4 Dunlin and 3 Ringed Plovers. Also 100+ Common Gulls for a short time.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Guided Walk - Sunday 29th March 2015

Less than pleasant weather this weekend with high winds yesterday and rain and wind today. Yesterday we had a Peregrine over 100 Acre again, Ringed Plover on Castle Mill and the first Blackcap of the year in the park. There is also a Heron nesting at the end of the Spit on the Finger Lakes and they have an egg! After last year's failed nesting they are doing better this year, although the nest looks a little on the thin side so the high winds this weekend are not welcome.

On a quick recce with DK first thing this morning we picked up a/the Blackcap again in the long hedge just after the exit from the Finger Lakes. There were 4 Sand Martins over the main lake again and the Oystercatchers were seen flying around the main lake.

By the time everyone had arrived for the guided walk the rain had started and was fairly heavy. The Sand Martins were not to be seen and with little else of note on the main lake we headed for the hedges around the car park hoping for another Blackcap. We didn't find much and headed for the shelter of the Finger Lakes where a couple of Song Thrushes were engaged in dueling songs and a Chiffchaff was singing strongly in the Sheep Pen.

In the lake by the Sedgewick Seat there is quite a bit of frog spawn now, newly appeared since last weekend. As we exited the Finger Lakes I heard the Blackcap again but just the one phrase and then silence as we stood there straining our ears to hear it again.

We continued through the W plantation with Green Woodpeckers calling from Kingsmead and over by the New Cut. We came out of the plantation and cut across to the Navigation Channel where a couple of Long-tailed Tits were working their way through the Willows.

We headed back along the NC, passing the Kramer Hide which is closed off as it is replaced with a new hide. We stopped to check out the Heron nest and I was happy to see one of the birds sitting tight in the wet and windy conditions. I spotted a Kingfisher zipping along the NC but it was too quick for everyone to see it, as is usually the case!

We checked out the Spit where the resident pair of Mute Swans are nesting on west fingers. They were nest building yesterday morning but one of the adults was sitting tight all morning in the poor weather.

A single Great Crested Grebe was back on Fingers after being absent for a couple of days, not sure where its partner is. Seemed like they were soon to be nesting but one has disappeared, unless they have chosen a nest site that is out of sight. There was also a Little Grebe on West Fingers as well as several pairs of Shovelers, some Gadwalls and Tufted Ducks. The other adult Heron was tucked away on one of the Fingers awaiting its turn on the nest.

Next stop was along the Canoe Slalom where we found a couple of Grey Wagtails in residence. They are looking cracking in their summer plumage now.

Back to the main lake, and the lake side path on the south side is now open and we had good views of the Rookery which now boasts 14 nests. There was a single Egyptian Goose on the island and a single female Pochard remains on the main lake. A Common Buzzard flew across the west end of the lake while we checked out the Egyptian Goose.

There was little else of note until a Greenfinch was heard along the path behind the sailing club.

Thanks to all who braved the wet and windy weather to join me on the walk. The next one is Sunday April the 26th starting at 9am. Meet outside the visitor centre as usual.

Here are some images from a photo session on 100 Acre last weekend.


Great Crested Grebe


Mute Swan