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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

27th May

Common Sandpiper on the bank of the lake in the grounds of The Holme

Grey Wagtail juvenile on the island in area 5

Common Kestrel with three possibly four young

This is the latest Reed Warbler to arrive and is singing in the Wetland area 25

Horray a dry day at last.

Common Sandpiper:
Two birds were around the island in area 5, sometimes coming to the bank on the north side of the lake.
Chiffchaff: A new bird was on the island in area 26.
Reed Warbler: After yesterdays drenching and blustery winds lets hope that those that have managed to attract a mate and have laid eggs have not lost them. Some of the reeds have been flattened.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

24th May

Male Little Owl, hopefully we will have a repeat of last years breeding success.

This site reminds me of my holidays on the Skokholm Island off the coast of Pembrokeshire when I was a teenager. Though the scenery is very different.

This frog was hopping through the grass in the wetalnd pen. He needs to be careful, as frog is on the menu of the nearby young Kestrels.

The male shields some prey that turned out to be a small rat

One fledgling can just about see over the front of the box

Herring Gull: Two pairs are nesting on one of the islands. This is the first time that two pairs have attempted to breed. They are by know means annual breeders , so this is a rare event.
Little Owl: The pair were seen together at 5.45am, the first time for a couple of months.
Chiffchaff: A newcomer was singing in area 31.

Friday, May 23, 2008

23rd May

The female feeds the young, that are still to small to see over the front of the nest box
The male is often on the look out for any danger. He keeps his feathers in good order by spending a lot of time preening.

Grey Wagtail juvenile in the wetland pen

A fairly quiet day, with newly arrived migrants defending territories, the resident species incubating eggs or busily feeding young.

Red Crested Pochard:
There are three fairly large broods on the lake.
Mandarin: One pair have eight ducklings that are doing well.
Grey Wagtail: Two juveniles turned up in the wetland pen, area 25 this afternoon.
Reed Warbler: A seventh male was singing from the reeds in the wetland, area 25.
Chiffchaff: Two pairs are breeding in the park.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

20th May

A pair of Red-footed Falcons at Lakenheath Fen
Adult female Red-footed Falcon
Adult male Red-footed Falcon
This Little Owl was an area tick, having birded in this area of the Norfolk Broads for over twenty years.
This Little Gull was one of about fifty present at Titchwell, some were emaculate adults. But due to the strong breeze and their distance I cant show you how stunning they looked.

This Great spotted Woodpecker was going back and forth feeding some hungry youngster.

Back from a few days in Norfolk, two days birding and the rest dealing with family matters. This has to be one of my the worst spring trips. The cool north-east winds were constant, with the odd period of light rain or drizzle. The total number of species seen was a fairly respectable 131, though there were some glaring omissions. The highlights were a pair of Red-footed Falcons, Bittern appearing to chase a Common Crane, Golden Oriole, Garganey ( Lakenheath Fen); 40+ Little Gulls, Wood Sandpiper, pair Red Crested Pochards, showy Bearded Tits (Titchwell) and a pair Montagu's Harriers.

Luckily enough I did not miss much in the park.
Garden Warbler:
One sang quietly from the top of the Oak trees in area 2 on 17th.
Common Sandpiper: One was on the side of the lake on the 18th.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

13th May

Male Firecrest in area 29.

What do I know about birds? After yesterdays statement, one of my favourite UK birds turned up.

A male sang and showed well, at times only six feet away. That is when I didn't have my camera close at hand. It is in area 29 by the Holme Oak, which is close to the fence just as you go up the slope. Though behind the fence it is visible from the outside.
Swallow: One flew through early morning.

Monday, May 12, 2008

12th May

Ringed Reed Warbler in reeds at the end of area 26. This bird was first seen in spring 2006.

Two Large Red Damselflies appeared in the wetland yesterday, area 25.

Blue-tailed Damselflies appeared in the wetland today.

This weather has put a dampener on this springs migration, so to speak. This weather being ideal for birds getting to where they need to be quickly. There hasn't been a low pressure system(rain) that would bring down more passerines. Never mind at least there should be plenty of insects for birds to feed their young. That is if it doesn't do what it did last year, turn cold and wet.

Reed Warbler:
Five singing birds.
Chiffchaff: Two males.
Reed Bunting: The male flew on to the island in area 5.
Egyptian Goose. Eleven birds on the lake. A group of them were trying to drown a juvenile Heron with a deformed bill.
House Martin. Twelve birds were around the building they nest on in Park Road. Yesterday I witnessed a bird collecting mud from a freshly watered football pitch. This is the first time that I can recall ever seeing this take place in the park.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

10th May

A very distant shot of the Common Sandpiper in area 5.
Male Blackcap by the drinking pool in area 29.
A Long-tailed Tit drinks from a drain, just after I had topped up the nearby drinking pond with fresh water.
Orange tips are very much in evidence in those areas with Garlic Mustard (jack-by-the-hedge).

This warm weather has been a real downer for migrants in the park. Today I finally saw a couple of species that I would normally have expected to have seen by now.

Red Kite:
One flew purposefully towards the north-east at 12.00pm.
Common Sandpiper: One was feeding along the edge of the island in area 5, at 9.00am.
Collared Dove: One flew south over the wetland.
Reed Warbler: Males are singing from nearly all of the reed beds in the park.
Chiffchaff: Two males singing from areas 1 and 29.
Blackcap: Sixteen males were singing from around the park.
Red crested Pochard: One female on the lake has managed to keep all thirteen of her ducklings for two days.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

7th May

Another hot day with only a few clouds starting to bubble up around the outside of the park. The cooler temperature of the park, seems to affect the cloud formations.

Honey Buzzard:
A very dark looking bird was picked up thermaling high above Winfield House, area 1 at 1.35pm. Its protruding neck and small head, straight wings, pinched at the base and longish tail were very obvious. These features were obvious when at times both species were in the same field of view, though the Honey seemed quiet a bit higher up.
Common Buzzard: Two birds were watched at the same time as the Honey.

Rupert over at the Wetland Centre phoned to say that someone there had seen 6 Buzzards in a short period of time. If it were not for that call I would not have bothered to do any sky watching. Then there is the luck that the birds had come my way, and they had some of the few pieces of cloud as a background. Once they had moved into the blue it was impossible to find them after I scanned the clouds for any other raptors.

Other news:
3 males again present.
Reed Warbler: 5 males and 1 female, the area of seating in area 2 just behind the horseshoe shaped reed bed allows really good views and a chance to the here the birds singing.
Reed Bunting: The male sang from area 2, and another male sang from the island in area 26.

Monday, May 05, 2008

5th May

Recently fledged Mistle Thrush with deformed bill, area 22.
Newly arrived Reed Warbler in the Long Reed bed in area 26.
Female Green Woodpecker feeding on ants in area 29, it appears to be hard work.

A very warm start to the day, with light easterly winds. The rain during the night had moved off to the west. There were some new arrivals.

Ring Ouzel:
A female was reported on Cumberland Green, area 19. It was seen feeding near the Mislte Thrushes before flying towards area 15 at 7.20am. After looking in the area the bird could not be relocated, to many dog walkers and joggers.
Northern Wheatear: One was in area 28, unfortunately a football tournament meant that it wouldn't stay long.
Sedge Warbler: One was singing from the shrubbery by the Ready Money Fountain, area 22.
Reed Warbler: There were four singing males, two in area 2 and two in area 26.
Chiffchaff: Three males were singing, in area 1, 16 and 29.
Linnet: One flew through.
Jackdaw: Two birds flew through.
Swallow: One flew north.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

4th May

Northern Wheatear (greenland race) in area 28.

Egyptian Goose perched in a tree.
It is amazing how much litter you can see in the sky, it is about time this was stopped.

Even though the wind was from a favourable direction there was not a great deal happening.

Wood Warbler:
Female feeding in Oaks in area 29 at 6.00pm. (thanks Rose)
Turtle Dove: One flew NW at 12.45pm.
Common Tern:
Two birds flew in from the NW at 9.25 am, one of them briefly investigated the tern raft.
Black-headed Gull: A first summer bird was on the lake.
Common Swift: Every where you looked there was a Swift.
Northern Wheatear (Greenland race): A male was on the open spaces, area 28 for 30 mins from 7.50am.
Swallow: Fifteen birds in ones and two's headed north.
Chiffchaff: Three males were singing from areas 1, 22 and 29.
Blackcap: Another territory was taken up in area 34.
Linnet: One flew north.
Jackdaw: Two birds flew NW.

Friday, May 02, 2008

2nd May

Reed Warbler in the horse-shoe shaped reed bed in area 2.

Common Sandpiper: One dropped down into area 26 during a heavy downpour at lunchtime.
Jackdaw: A group of three birds and thentwo flew southish between 8.15am and 8.30am.
Chiffchaff: A second male was singing in area 1.
Willow Warbler: One was singing in area 2.
Common Swift: Five birds flew through during the day.
Swallow: Five single birds flew north.
Great crested Grebe: The pair on the north side of area 5 have hatched.
Unidentified Raptor: Two large raptors were seen between 12.30pm and 1.00pm to the south of the park. Unfortunately they were to distant to identify.
House Martin: Nine birds feeding over Hanover Bridge at 7.30am.