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Sunday, January 25, 2015

25th January

Norfolk

I have just returned from a couple of days up in Norfolk. I did manage to spend a 4 hours out and about on Saturday morning. The skies were blue, without a cloud in the sky for most of the day but the wind was a brisk north-westerly.This meant there was quite a chill in the air, so holding the scope steady to digi-scope was not worth trying, except for the rough shots of my local wintering flock of swans.

A short list of my highlights follows.

Red-throated Diver: 15 were on the sea north of Sea Palling.

Whooper & Bewick’s Swan: a mixed flock of around 60 were feeding on sugar beet tops on the old Ludham airfield.

Tundra Bean Goose: 7 were in a field just north of West Somerton.

Pink-footed Goose: 45 with the above geese.

Common Buzzard: a very pale breasted bird was on the ground amongst the sheep.

Common Crane: one was feeding in a field beside the A1064 this morning.

Golden Plover: 400 in a sheep field alongside the Horsey Road.

Lapwing: 350 in the same field.

Fieldfare: 200 also feeding here.

Snow Bunting: 50+ were on the beach.

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Bewick’s Swan

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Whooper and Bewick’s Swan

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Whooper cygnets (above) adult & cygnet (below)

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

22nd January

Kensington Gardens

Scaup: 1st winter drake still present on the Round Pond.

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The sun hadn’t quite appeared when I took this.

Friday, January 16, 2015

16th January

Kensington Gardens

I hadn’t intended to be here today but an afternoon meeting to discuss habitat improvements that I felt the Long Water would benefit from made me change my plans.

Scaup: the 1st winter drake is still present.

Tawny Owl: the male was again on show and having to put up with the attention from Magpies and parakeets for a few minutes. Luckily for him they soon get bored and move off.

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He’s behind you.

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Things soon quietened down.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

15th January

Kensington Gardens

Scaup: the 1st winter drake is still present but on the 2 occasions I passed The Round Pond it was a fair way off.

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What ever he is finding to eat, the Black-headed Gulls want a piece of it.

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Even the Canada Geese have a tough time trying to hold on to their pieces of bread.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

13th January

Kensington Gardens

Scaup: yesterdays 1st winter male was again on the Round Pond.

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Bushy Park

Little Egret: 2 birds were by Roaring Archon where the Longford River exits the park into the River Thames.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

11th January

Regent’s Park

Heron: 11 birds back on their nests, one female has possibly laid her 1st eggs.

Little Gebe: 4 birds on the main lake.

Mandarin: 28 birds on Heron Island, area 8.

Shoveler: 26 on area 8.

Sparrowhawk: males were seen in areas 12 and 31.

Redwing: 15 feeding on the ground in area 40.

Blackcap: 2 were feeding on mahonia berries in area 3.

Chiffchaff: one still in area 2.

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16 Common Gulls were on the lake this morning

Is this a mystery to you

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Monday, January 05, 2015

5th January

Last year was not my most productive year due to the fact that my wife and I spent much our time popping up to Norfolk finalising details on our future retirement home.

When given the chance to add to my UK list I tend not to travel much further than an 1.5 hours from where I happen to be when news of bird I need comes out. For that reason my UK list is still only 414 species. This years 4 lifers are below followed by some of my favourites from Norfolk, the west country and then the Royal Parks.

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This Red-flanked Blue-tail was 2 hours from home

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The origins of waterfowl can sometimes be tricky, it is often your down to you tom make that decision.

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I enjoyed this cracking little bird with just a handful of birders.

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I am normally holidaying at the other end of the country when the peak time for this little gem arrives in the UK.

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The identification of some of the birds in this picture is being decided by the BBRC.

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I had never made the effort to see a Glossy Ibis, but I bumped into 3 birds in just over a month, these 2 were within 10 minutes of my base in Norfolk.

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The next batch of photos are from The Royal Parks

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Numbers of Northern Wheatears were disappointing during the autumn, on the other hand it was the best year in a long-time for the other chats.

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Never recorded in Regent’s Park before, this autumn saw 2 individuals turn up.

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There are good numbers of Little Owl and Tawny Owls in Richmond and Bushy Parks but only a pair each in the Regent’s and Kensington Gardens.

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The pair of Kestrels in area 32 in Regent’s Park successfully fledged 5 young.

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The first breeding record for Common Buzzard in a Royal Park occurred in Bushy Park this year.

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Eurasian Hobby bred in 3 parks

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When I first started working in Regent’s Park large shoals of Roach and Perch were a common sight, this is the 1st Roach that I have seen since the mid 1990’s.

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Great crested Grebes had the best breeding season for several years but most young failed to fully fledge.

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Last autumns gales meant that the number of pairs of Herons dropped by 6 pairs due to nests being destroyed.

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