Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Guided Walk Sunday 28/06/2015

Despite a wet morning we had a very good turnout for the guided bird walk on Sunday morning. While waiting for people to arrive I watched a Sand Martin visit the nest block on main lake island. This had all the hallmarks of a feeding visit as the bird flew directly to the block, went into one of the holes, and came out again after several seconds. Another bird also left either the same, or neighbouring hole, as the first bird arrived. This would be excellent news if it does turn out that Sand Martins are breeding in the park, we'll be keeping a closer eye on the nesting block other the next few days.

The guided walk started off with a scan of the main lake where we had the usual suspects including Mute Swans, Common Terns, Black Headed Gulls, Coots, Great Crested Grebes, Mallards and Tufted Ducks. The previous weekend we had 3 Oystercatcher chicks on the main lake island but there was no sign this week although on Saturday we did have 3 adults around.

Tufted Duck broods have also started to appear this week but they didn't show for the guided walk. There is one brood on the main lake with ~9 chicks and another on the finger lakes with a single chick.

Along the Spit on the Finger lakes we had singing Chifchaff, Blackcap and calling Treecreepers. A Green Woodpecker was calling regularly, probably a youngster and a male Great Spotted Woodpecker was up on the snag above the Dead Seat, giving good views in the scope. The Grey Heron chicks have fledged in the last couple of weeks and the nests are now empty. Let's hope they return next year.

Reed Warblers were quiet in the Crescent and we struggled to get a view of a single singing bird, along the north side of the main lake, as it kept low down in the reeds. On Saturday we had excellent views of singing Reed Warbler on the south side of the main lake and it even stayed put when the cameras came out!

Singing Reed Warbler
Continuing the guided walk around the Finger lakes we had a singing Garden Warbler on the edge of the Rough and Blackcaps up by the gate. There was another singing Garden Warbler in the Sheep Pen but despite hanging around trying to get a view our reward was just a brief sighting as it flew between patches of scrub.

Down towards the kissing gate on the flower meadow another Reed Warbler could be heard singing along the Navigation Channel. Up on the Sewage Works bridge a Sedge Warbler was seen and the usual brief view of a Kingfisher. Sedge Warblers have been seen feeding young in the reed bed below the bridge, but just the displaying bird over on the edge of the river today.

Next stop was 100 Acre although we did have good views of a Common Whitethroat along the edge of the Sewage Works as we made our way there. Common Terns are very active around 100 Acre island although the chicks seen last week stayed out of sight this weekend.

At the end of 100 Acre the Little Ringed Plovers have chicks. Unfortunately, due to the rain, they were less active than on Saturday with just one seen running about feeding. There were 2 adults sitting and I suspect the other chicks were underneath staying warm and dry. On Saturday we had 3 Adults and at least 4 chicks.

Those were the highlights of the guided walk and the weekend as a whole. Please note that there is no guided bird walk in July so the next one is 30th August starting at 8am outside the visitor centre.