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Saturday, December 20, 2008

20th December

The Water Rail waits to make sure the coast is clear before coming out to feed on the pellets that I had put down for it.

Tawny Owl: Two males calling from areas 1 and 14 at 6.30am.
Water Rail: One bird still present in the ditch in area 2.
Siskin: Eight birds moving between area 24 and 26.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

17th December

The Rail ditch from the far end(not open to the public).

At last fine weather and most importantly the bird showing well today, gave me a chance to take a couple of snaps

I popped to Norfolk for a day last week. I encountered a flock of over 8000 Pink-footed Geese feeding in a roadside field near Langham. They were spooked and took to the air, part of the flock can be seen in these two photos.

Frustrating news from yesterday, when what was almost certainly an adult Ring-billed Gull was seen distantly on the lake at 1.15pm, it flew off SW two minutes later.

Little Grebe: One on the lake east of Baker Street.
Grey Heron: Twenty-eight being fed by a naughty member of the public.
Mandarin: Twenty-six on the lake moslty around area 5.
Gadwall: Fourteen birds on the lake this afternoon.
Shoveler: Nine birds on the lake, back in the early 1990 we had flocks of up to 100 birds on the lake at this time of the year.
Common Teal: One drake on the lake.
Red crested Pochard: Thirty-six on the lake.
Water Rail: The bird in area 2 showed on and off throughout the day.
Fieldfare: Eight birds flew NW at 8.00am.
Siskin: Fourteen or so birds still in area 24.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

16th December

Water Rail: The bird though elusive is still present in area 2. Maybe it is just that we dont give it enough time.
Siskin: At least fourteen birds are still present, prefering the Alders in area 24.

Monday, December 08, 2008

8th December

Water Rail: The bird in area 2 showed well as it fed on the bank with a Blackbird.
Redwing: Four birds flew over the rose gardens at 8.00am.
Siskin: The flock has increased to about twenty birds. They were seen flying in to area 1 and little earlier were at the north eastern end of area 26.
Goldcrest: A small flock of around ten birds are seen feeding in the Oaks by the path in area 2 most mornings.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

6th December

Eurasian Siskins feeding in area 26.

Little Owl: What is probably one of this years youngsters has been seen roosting in the Willow tree that is by the lake edge 5o yards from Long Bridge, area 25. It is best view from the duck identification board, it may also use the large Willow in the middle of the goose grazing pen.
Siskin: At least seven birds have been feeding in the Alder trees in area 25 and 26.
Lesser Redpoll: One was seen flying over area 26 with the Siskins, how ever it could not be found feeding with them.
Goldfinch: Still at least twenty birds visiting the feedind stations in area 1, 24 and 29. They still visit the garden by St Marks Bridge.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

3rd December

Firecrest: At last we have found one of these little gems, not a bright male, but she will do nicely. She was feeding in the Lime trees that line the Broadwalk, area 17 in the Avenue Gardens at 8.30am.
Peregrine: A juvenile male circled the open spaces at 8.20 am.
Redwing: Seven birds flew SE at 7.45am.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

30th November

Tawny Pipit photographed at Waxham in May was the ID challenge and was correctly identified by Josh.

Just back from spending the weekend in Norfolk. I took a friend to Titchwell, the day started with fog, this eventually cleared late on Saturday morning. After that the light then was fantastic, it really showed the birds off in all their glory. The highlights were Bearded Tits feeding right by the path, Water Pipit, 500 Common Scoters, and pratically every species of wintering shorebirds.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

27th November

As things have been quiet here is something for you to ID

Sorry the site has not been updated recently, a bad back has kept me off work.
Though things have been quiet in the park. Here are the best of the last few days.

Water Rail:
One bird showed in the ditch, area 2 on the 25th.
Skylark: One flew over on 25th.
Redwing: Six birds flew over 25th.
Little Egret: One flew high to the east at 9.55am 26th.
Lesser Redpoll: One flew over area 29.
Goldfinch: A flock of twenty have been feeding in a garden by St Marks Bridge.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

18th November

Water Rail: Two birds were present, one was again in the ditch in area 2 and another could be heard calling from the reed bed opposite. Several places around the London area have recorded this species in recent days.
Redwing: Three birds flew over.
Chiffchaff: Two birds were with the tit flock in area 2.

Monday, November 17, 2008

17th November

This is the rail ditch, but the photo is of the bird that was present during the winter of 2006 and 2007.

Water Rail: One was seen in the rail ditch by Hanover Bridge, area 2 at 2.15pm.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

16th November

Grey Phalarope, this bird has been present for seven days and is well worth a visit.
Normally a paleagic bird away from its breeding grounds, this bird must have been blown in land by the recent strong winds.

Not much in the park as far as I know, but have been struggling with a bad back.
This how ever did not stop me popping down to Hampton Court this morning. The instructions were that the bird was 800 metres from Kingston Gate, to my ageing legs it did seem further.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

13th November

Collared Dove: One flew SW.
Stock Dove: Five flew SW
Fieldfare: Eleven birds flew west prior to 8.15am.
Redwing: Three birds flew west.
Song Thrush: Four birds flew high NE.
Jackdaw: One flew SW
Lesser Redpoll: One flew SE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

12th November

Bright skies and a gentle NW wind blowing, brought a small movement of birds.

Wood Pigeon: Over 145o birds flew in to the wind in flocks of around 1oo. Normally they are seen heading SW at this time of year.
Skylark: One bird circled high over the open spaces at 8.45am.
Fieldfare: Two groups totalling thirty six birds flew over.
Brambling: Two sinlge birds flew over.
Siskin: Two singles also flew over.
Linnet: Two birds flew south.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11th November

A quiet day bird wise.

One flew across the Inner Circle and into Queen Mary's at 6.30am.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

8th February

Today I had to take the opportunity to pop down to West Hythe in Kent. This bird was to close not to make the effort to see it. Most of the reports on the bird lately had been of sightings after 9.00am, I was banking on the fact this was due to birders not putting the news out. I picked Dave up from his house at 5.00am, the traffic and my sense of direction had us at the site by 6.35am. We were lucky that a shower had passed through just before we had arrived and the light was beginning to improve. We walked the half mile along the military canal to the dam. Where to stand was our next decision, a Kingfisher calling made our minds up. As we watched it flying along another channel perching on various perches quite close to us. I then looked behind us to the area of reeds fringing the far back of the canal, just as the Green Heron flew along it towards us. I called to Dave who turned around to see the bird perch on a branch before burying itself in the reeds. After a bit of searching it could be seen amongst the reeds looking for food. The views were not great, we had to wait a while for the bird to really show itself, but it was worth the wait. Work beckoned and we left with me being at work by 9.00 o'clock.

Not much in the park today, though there was a possible Firecrest seen disappearing into cover in area 14 late yesterday afternoon.

I also am pretty sure that a female Goldeneye flew high east at 11.45am. I can not be certain as I had no binoculars with me at the time, but its head shape and jizz pointed to that species. Some you win some you lose.

Friday, November 07, 2008

7th November

This week has been a very quiet one, I am sorry that I have had nothing interesting
to report. You can blame the birds, or more to the point the overcast skies that have reduced the chance of much diurnal bird movement.

Good news on the Woodcock, it flew off during the hours of darkness.

Just to let you know that I have added more photos to the 2008 park bird gallery in

Species recorded have been:

small numbers most days.
Fieldfare: one on Monday, two today.
Starling: Small flocks seen heading westwards on most days.
Goldcrest: There are still good numbers around the park. Though I have not tracked down any Firecrests yet, but there probably is at least one present.
Waterfowl numbers are increasing gradually, with Tufted and Pochard from as far away as Russia now arriving. There are a few Shoveler and Gadwall on the main lake around area 5. Common Teal also roost here, but tend to feed in area 1 with the collection birds.
Rose-ringed Parakeet: These pesky bird are beginning to get on my nerves, with their horrid calls. We have a group of seven that are seen almost daily, they will have an effect on our whole nesting species in years to come. Due to the slow movement of Defra in culling this species when they had first began to establish themselves.
Egyptian Goose: This bird falls in to the sam category as the above speceis, our 19 will increse rapidly.

Monday, November 03, 2008

3rd November

This Woodcock was picked up yesterday in Triton Square NW1. It was kept in a box overnight on the advice of the RSPCA, who told the finder to release it this morning, he brought the bird to us. Externally the bird looked okay, though it did have some dried blood on its bill, which it had probably picked up after colliding with a building. We released it in an area with no foxes where it has remained, hopefully at dusk it will be strong enough to start feeding.

My first day back at work. As I checked the works diary it appeared that Dave had had a fairly leen time in the park, with very little diurnal passage noted. Todays sightings were much the same.

One was perched on top of a tree in Queen Mary's at 8.10am. This was Daves first bird of the autumn.
Redwing: At least eighteen high flying birds headed NW in one's and two's.
Skylark: One flew north.
Goldcrest: Thirty two birds were recorded on a bird survey carried out this morning.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

1st November

I am back after a week of mixed fortunes, both bird and weather wise. Though we did not get any cold weather until Thursday the winds were not favourable and most afternoons were littered with showers. There were however some good birds to be found, but it took patients and luck. My best birds were 1 Tawny Pipit circling Lands End, 3 Yellow-browed Warblers in the valleys, over 30 Grey Phaloropes off Lands End as well as 3 Sabines Gulls. There were other goodies but numbers in general were low, due to a lack of warm easterlies.

This photo with the camera on its macro setting, as the bird approached to within a foot of me as I sat on the ground

I will remember this 1st winter male Red spotted Bluethroat at Lands End, as one of my most memorable birding moments.

This photo was taken with the bird standing by my side. Those birders turning up to see it were probably its first sighting of human. It's only problem was a very territorial Robin, that kept on trying chase it off.

If you look closely you can see the Bluethroat underneath my tri-pod

This Gull at Sennen is thought to be a Azorian Yellow legged Gull?

This Rabbit joined me for a spot of early morning sea watching at Lands End before the tourist began to arrive.

Sennen Cove on a blustery day

Porthcurno at differing times of a beautiful day

Hi, I am back after a week of mixed fortunes, changeable weather and very little in the way of bird moveme

Thursday, October 23, 2008

23rd October

Views from our window looking to the SW, a magical sunset and a glorious day

The photo below shows Sennen Cove on a blustery day. As well as those hardy surfer dudes these conditions can force Grey Phalarope's, Sabines Gulls and even Bonaparte's Gulls in to the cove.

Two speceis that I have seen in recent years, Black Redstart and Spotted Sandpiper.

Just to let you know that I am away for a week. To the hopefully bird rich valley's of far west Cornwall for a week. With luck and the right weather systems I will have something to report to you on my return.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

21st October

The male and female Kestrel are often to be seen perched in area 25. On occasions they have to seek the sanctuary of the nest box to avoid being mobbed by members of the corvid family.

The last few days have been fairly quiet, again the winds are not helping much.

Little Grebe:
Three birds were on the lake yesterday.
Egyptian Goose: Nineteen pesky birds have taken to feeding and resting in area 26.
Common Teal: Two drakes flew out of area 1 yesterday afternoon.
Fieldfare: One flew west 20th.
Redwing: Thirty two flew west 2oth with a further six seen heading that way today.
Chiffchaff: One was calling from area 7 yesterday morning.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

18th October

This Green Woodpecker has been feeding regularly in the Wetland, area 25. It sometimes shows very well, when looking from the gate.

Water Pipit: One flew NW over the open spaces at 9.20am, around about 30ft above the ground and almost directly over my head. This species is heard and then seen almost annually in recent years.
Redwing: Seven flew west.
Goldcrest: Twenty eight birds were dotted around the park. The best locations were areas 7, 8,12, 14, 16, 24 and 29.
Brambling: One flew west with Chaffinches.
Chaffinch: Fourty birds in three flocks flew west.
Siskin: Twelve birds flew west in one's and two's.
Lesser Redpoll: Four singles flew SW.