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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