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Monday, September 01, 2014

1st September

Bushy Park

I only had time for a quick stroll this morning as the Deer cull is underway. I chose to checkout the area of scrub close to the entrance fro Dukes Head Passage into the park, it was quite lively.

Reed Warbler: 2 were feeding in the large sallow nearest the DH Passage.

Lesser Whitethroat: at least one possibly two were skulking in the bushes and brambles.

Common Whitethroat: 4 present.

Blackcap: 10 present.

Willow Warbler: 4 present.

Chiffchaff: 8 present.

Goldfinch: 26 were feeding on thistle and teasel seed heads.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

31st August

Norfolk 26th to 31st

I have just spent a few days up at my new house, mainly deciding what needs to be done to it and getting the garden in some kind of shape. Not being a keen DIY person I am always slow getting underway.

I did manage a couple of early morning birding trips to Cley and a three visits to Winterton on Sea. On the whole the number of birds around was a little disappointing, though their were some highlights. The weather was only slightly favourable  for sea watching on one day.

Photo opportunities were very few but a few of the better one’s are below.

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Looking west from Salthouse towards Blakeney Point

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2 distant skua species

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Turnstones look for scraps on the sea front at Walcott

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Several hundred Black-tailed Godwits were commuting between the scrapes at Cley and the nearby recently harvested wheat fields.

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Distant Greenish Warbler at Winterton, but still a lifer.

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My wife and I took the fairly long walk up to see the male Red-backed Shrike at Winterton yesterday afternoon. If it had been cloudy when I woke at 6.00am this morning I wouldn’t have made the return trip. How lucky was I, a beautiful sunny morning greeted me when I peered through the gap in my bedroom curtains.

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Saturdays photo top, followed by a sample from today.

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If it weren’t for a group of Whitethroats and Blue Tits I may not have seen the shrike that was basking in early morning sun low down behind a bramble.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

23rd August

Regent’s Park

Yellow Wagtail: one flew south at 6.40am.

Northern Wheatear: 2 were on chestnut pale fencing near the Hub, area 37 from 6.35 until at least 7.45am.

Common Redstart: a male was feeding from a Mountain Ash tree by in area 39.

Common Whitethroat: 6 were present in areas 31 and 39.

Blackcap: 14 were present around the park.

Willow Warbler: at least 8 birds in areas 31, 32 and 39.

Chiffchaff: 14 birds scattered in the same areas as the Willow Warblers.

Apart from the Wheatear todays photos were taken in area 39.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

22nd August

Richmond Park

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More of todays sunrise which didn’t last very long below

Common Buzzard: one flew high SW at 12.00pm.

Whimbrel: I had a phone call from Jan Wilczur to say that a friend of his had seen a flock of high flying waders that may be this species heading towards the park. At first I thought there was no way I was going to see them as I was in the yard at Holly Lodge and I wasn’t sure what line they were on. Then I thought it was worth a gamble, grabbed my bins from the car and ran to the nearest open area, which was the paddocks. Jan mentioned that the birds had flown past the Wetland Centre. I looked in that general direction but how long was it since they went past there, god knows. I then picked up a very distant flock of birds in the the direction of Richmond Park Golf Course heading sort of on a line that would bring them reasonably close to me. I then tried to call Jan to say that I had the flock but couldn’t ID them at that distance but they were heading our way thinking he was in the park (I later found out he wasn’t). I then rushed back to my car to get my camera. I soon picked them up again they had moved much closer, then sods law they began to veer more on the line of Pen Ponds. I fired of  a few frames then set about identifying them which was easy enough. The size and shape, short straightish bill curved at the end and rapid wingbeat meant they were Whimbrel.

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Whimbrel in arrow formation

Swift: one flew through as I watched the egret.

Northern Wheatear: 2 were on the flying field.

Whinchat: 2 were with the wheatears.

Common Redstart: the female was again in the paddock area. First thing it was along the fence line at the top before moving to the small unused paddock. By 9.00am it had moved to the fence that runs along the bottom. It was still there at 1.00pm.

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There were still a few Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers around, though fewer than in recent days.

I also had an earlier phonecall from our Gamekeeper to sat that a Little Egret had landed in the long grass by the Beverley Brook near Roehampton Gate. I said that I could see where he was and would be there shortly.

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The egret noticed a high flying Sparrowhawk

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I don’t normally take deer photos but while I was supervising OPM nest removals took these.

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Stag shedding velvet in the early morning sun and a buck a few hours later.

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