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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Regent's Park May 2018

Regent's Park May's highlights

I say the highlights for may, there haven't been many. The wind direction and even though the weather has been reasonably settled hasn't persuaded the birds to head this way. This spring has seen the lowest number of migrants passing through the park. The species that are at there recent levels are Reed Warbler 7 males, Sedge Warbler 2 males a species that has never been a regular breeder is the Common Whitethroat at present there are 3 singing males. Fingers crossed that all these males manage to attract a female.

   I am not sure if the female has laid yet, she seems to be out of the box a lot, mind you there were 2
   females by the box in early May

    2 singing and displaying males have been present for over a month lets hope they have attracted 
    2 females.

    Slow to arrive in the UK with numbers down at the reed beds I visit in Norfolk. In the park they
    tend to arrive late. 

   If you are or no of someone that feeds the Herons please stop you are not helping the birds. They do
   not need handouts and will find their own food either in the park or nearby. This behaviour is not 
   normal, they are not a sociable bird.

   Scarce visitor to my park garden 

   Stock Dove is a species that is doing well in the park

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Five days in Norfolk that started slowly and finished with a bang

Five days in Norfolk with friends from 9th May

Every may for many years a group of us go to Norfolk for a long weekend. The cast varies from time to time but whoever turns up knows that it will be time well spent. We may not always jam into a rarity but you never know. This year bird numbers were down, low numbers of terns, waders, hirundines and passerines. I bumped into Mark Golly on Friday morning, we discussed the current trends of once regular migrants that are now becoming scarcer. He did say that rain was due on Saturday afternoon and that with there was a chance of the wind veering NE for a while. If that happened there could be a chance of something good turning up i.e Wryneck or Bluethroat. Well Saturday came and the morning was sunny and hot with hardly any wind. We started over at Titchwell RSPB enjoying great views of Med Gulls following a plough. There wasn't enough to keep us there in the afternoon so we headed to Cley, by the time we had reached there rain was falling. We didn't want get soaked and I certainly didn't want my car full of damp cloths and soggy people. I suggested going to the coastal watchpoint at Happisburgh, thinking it might have a Wheatear or Yellow Wagtail to add to the list of birds for the day. We parked the car park by the bowling green and set off on the short walk to the World War 2 watch point, not remains but enough to shelter you from the wind or rain if you should encounter those conditions. We didn't but we also failed to encounter any birds, a wasted walk I thought. We had just got back to the paddock, a Swallow twittering on the phone line was something to look at. Mark then said Yellow Wag on the telegraph pole. We all stopped, I raised my bins and boom, the sight every birder would love to see sat there atop the pole. "Black-headed Wagtail" I called out, the bird seemed content, we didn't want to flush it but we also needed the evidence that we had seen it. We started taking photos, inching closer slowly, we wanted the bird to decide what to do and not move as a result of our actions. Within a minute the bird made the first move by dropping down into the paddock. This was very handy as we had a hedge and a raised bank to shield us. We tried to get decent images the light wasn't on our side but we got some in the end. I then alerted RBA and Mark put the news out on twitter. We enjoyed the bird for some time before I said that I need to charge my phone which had died the moment I had sent the news out. We had just got back to the car when the first birder arrived. It was good to know that the news had been disseminated.

Black-headed Wagtail and other birds seen  recently


   Mark(right) and me taking photos. The photo below is me lying on stinging nettles with the horses
   wondering what the F is going on.