Wednesday, May 03, 2017

May Day bank holiday weekend

The last couple of weeks have seen some interesting birds passing through the park and neighbouring 100 Acre. The previous weekend saw a brief visit to 100 Acre by a Curlew. It dropped in unseen and left soon after, I managed to get this record shot as flew off.

I spent sometime photographing the Little Grebes on 100 Acre and was lucky to have a Common Sandpiper land nearby where I managed a record shot.

Common Sandpiper

Little Grebe eating a fish

Down it goes!
A Whinchat showed up on 100 Acre the same day I photographed the Little Grebes but I had to wait until the following day to catch up with it. Again just a record shot as it perched up on a fence post.

On the way back from the Whinchat JA spotted a Wheatear on the west side of the big lake.

 A pair of Grey Wagtails at the Sewage Works Bridge had a couple of youngsters and the adult female spent her time on guard duty.

Grey Wagtail
On Sunday 30th April I had a big turn out for the monthly Guided Walk and we had a good morning capped by the arrival of a Grey Plover while we were out on 100 Acre looking for the Whinchat. There were also a lot of Butterflies active and a single Small Copper was the highlight of those.

May day saw a switch in the weather with strong easterly winds and heavy showers. This brought an influx of passage migrants and on Monday morning the main lake was home to 3 Black Terns, single Arctic Tern and a single adult Little Gull.

Black Tern

Black Tern

Black Terns

The Black Terns remained stubbornly out by the island limiting the photo opportunities but the Common Terns came closer to shore and continued to entertain during one of the heavy showers.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern
Of the residents a number of Mallards have young now. Both Coots and Moorhens also have young. A pair of Egyptian Geese have 3 young and a Greylag pair has six goslings. All the summer migrants have arrived now with the most obvious, the Cuckoo, seen and heard regularly around the park at the weekend. Reed Warbler numbers continue to increase and can be found burbling away in the reed beds while Willow Warblers numbers have dropped again as they continue their journeys north. The Grey Heron nests all contain young of various sizes.

And finally the new Tern raft has seen interest from several Common Terns, hope to see some using it for nesting in the coming days.