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Thursday, September 24, 2009

24th September

Two of the reasons why I like Cornwall

I am off to Cornwall for the next week so please keep an eye on what flying through the park. Leave any important news in a comments box.

I am looking to undertake some visual migration watches on the 11th and 18th October. They will start at 8.00am and last as long as there is something to see. It will rely on there being no rain and light winds preferably not northerlies. If interested please leave me a name in the comments section. I hope someone turns up, as this time of year can be very spectacular.

24th September

Spotted Flycatcher: two birds in the old golf school, area 30.
Reed Warbler: a third bird in area 25, this one was more like a Reed Warbler.
Chiffchaff: Fourty birds widely distributed around the park:
Meadow Pipit: eight birds flew south.
Pied Wagtail:
six birds flew south.
Grey Wagtail: four birds flew south-west.

23rd September

Hobby: One juvenile over the lake at 12.40pm.
Swallow: eight flew north.
House Martin: twenty-five over the lake.
Northern Wheatear: one on the numerous roap pins in area 27.
Reed Warbler: two birds in the wetland pen, area 25. One of which has been present since Sunday and had a large percentage of feature that were drawing me towards Marsh Warbler.
This bird had a growth on its face, which is causing it some distress and possible resulted in some of its features to change a little, such as colouration and posture. The second bird though only seen briefly had very pale legs, but it's shape was more Reed Warbler like.
Chiffchaff: twenty birds present.
one flew west at 7.50am.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

20th September

A six species of raptor day.

Honey Buzzard:
a very high dark morph bird glided SW at 1.55pm.
Red Kite: a bird flew west at 2.05pm.
Common Buzzard: one came in low from the NE at 10.55am. It tried to gain height but was mobbed by crows and had to take evasive action, at one point it was no more than 50ft above the ground. After a few minutes it began to out climb the pesky corvids.
Hobby: a bird flew N at 10.30am.
Sparrowhawk: three birds were seen, one was almost certainly a migrant.
Kestrel: one in area 25, making the sixth bird of prey.
House Martin: over four hundred passed through, with a group of over 200 feeding just above the trees and lake for over 45 minutes.
Swallow: one-hundred and sixty passed through, most at a very high altitude.
Meadow Pipit: seven passed through heading north.
Grey Wagtail: one flew SW.
Song Thrush: three birds that were probably from the continent flew NW.
Reed Warbler: one was in the reeds in the wetland pen, area 25.
Lesser Whitethroat: one was in area 30.
Blackcap: Five in area 24.
Chiffchaff: over thirty birds present.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

19th September

Teal: female in wetland pen, area 25.
Common Buzzard: one high SE at 11.50am.
Swallow: a steady movement appeared to be going all morning. I counted 420 birds heading SE, though I was only watching sporadically.
House Martin: Similar to the above species though in smaller numbers, I observed 180 birds.
Meadow Pipit: twelve birds flew SE.
Common Whitethroat: a female in area 29, feeding in trees.
Blackcap: three birds in area 29.
Chiffchaff: twelve birds present.
Goldcrest: eighteen birds in areas 14, 24 and 29,

Friday, September 18, 2009

18th September

Common Teal: a female fed in the rail ditch, area 2. It was then seen feeding in the wetland pen, area 25.
Woodlark: two birds flew in from the SE at around 200ft at 7.50am, they circled once before moving off westwards.
Whinchat: one was on ropes in area 28 at 8.10am, it had been flushed by 9.30am.
House Martin: twenty-five birds passed through.
Meadow Pipit: ten flew SW.
Blackcap: four birds were in area 26.
Chiffchaff: twenty birds were present in areas 24, 26 and 30.

Monday, September 14, 2009

14th September

Teal: a drake was present in the wetland pen and was a new species for that site.
Tree Pipit: one flew north at 8.45am.
Willow Warbler: two birds present.
Chiffchaff: eight birds present.
Blackcap: four birds present.

13th September

I am sorry this posting is a day late, I popped up to Norfolk to see my mother-inlaw.
Sea watching on Saturday was a little slow, but birds picked up on Sunday when the wind increased.
Highlights: 1 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Sabines Gulls, 4 Long-tailed, 1 Pomarine, 18 Arctic and 12 Great Skuas plus 3000 Gannets in two hours and a few other birds.

Lesser Whitethroat:
one was in Queen Mary's, area 12 and seen by those on a bird walk. I still need one for the autumn.
Blackcap: four birds present.
Chiffchaff: ten birds present.
Sand Martin: one flew through with swallows.
Swallow: four flew through.
Meadow Pipit: four flew through.

Friday, September 11, 2009

11th September

A very calm start to the day in the park

Hobby: a juvenile circled above the lake at 7.55am, before drifting off south and down Baker Street.
Yellow Wagtail: one flew north-east at 8.40am.
Tree Pipit: one flew north at 8.55am.
Meadow Pipit: six birds flew west.
Swallow: ninety plus flew through, mainly heading south.
House Martin: forty were above the lake until the Hobby flew through.

In general a lot of the commoner warblers had moved off during the night.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

10th September

Whinchat male above female below.

Norther Wheatear being buffeted by a strong breeze.

Whinchat: two present on the cricket squares, area 28 all day.
Northern Wheatear: one also still in area 28.
Swallow: fifteen flew north at 1.30pm.
Yellow Wagtail: one flew south at 8.30am.
Meadow Pipit: four flew north.
Blackcap: twenty birds mainly in area 24 and across the path in area 26, also in area 30.
Chiffchaff: twenty birds in the same area as the Blackcaps.
Common Whitethroat: one in the old golf/tennis school area 30.
Spotted Flycatcher: three birds in the area 29 and 30.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

9th September

This Northern Wheatear dosen't look that happy to be in the park.

By mid day he had cheered up and was feeding vigorously.

Meadow Pipit, the hind claw is very long compared to the Tree Pipit

It had been a fairly dull day with notg when Bang!

Montagu's Harrier:
we decided today we would do our first skywatch of the autumn.
We had seen very little when all of a sudden I picked up a very high flying raptor approach from the north. It's long narrowish wings (barred secondaries) and tail, elegant very boyuant flight had alarm bells ringing in my ears. I passed the scope to Dave and asked what do you think? It's definitely a harrier he said and after a few seconds concluded that it had to be a Monties. It was flying southwestwards, so I looked to see if I had Rupert's (Wetland Centre birder) phone number on me. I didn't, so decided that a message on the RBA might get to him in time. Unfortunately he didn't receive the message until the bird had probably gone by.
Hobby: one flew north at 16.10pm.
Sparrowhawk: possibly four different birds were seen.
Yellow Wagtail: one flew north at 12.45pm.
Pied Wagtail: two flew north.
Meadow Pipit: five birds were on the ground briefly, three more flew over while we skywatched.
Northern Wheatear:
a bird was present in area 28 from 8.30am until at least 16.00pm.
Swallow: eight birds passed through.
House Martin:
twenty five were over the lake at 7.00am.
Spotted Flycatcher: one was in area 29 again.
Blackcap: four birds were present.
Chiffchaff: ten birds were present.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

8th September

Spotted Flycatchers in area 29, they were a bit elusive at times.

Swallow: again a small trickle heading south.
Pied Wagtail:
one feeding on the cricket tables, area 28.
Spotted Flycatcher: two birds in area 29.
Chiffchaff: a similar number to yesterday, eleven birds seen.
Collared Dove: one flew west at 7.50am.

Monday, September 07, 2009

7th September

Swift: one flew in at 6.40am.
Swallow: thirty birds trickled through.
Tree Pipit: one flew west at 8.30am.
Meadow Pipit: four flew south-west.
White Wagtail: one flew south at 1.20pm.
Lesser Whitethroat: one was in area 24 ( thanks Rose).
Chiffchaff: twelve birds present

Sunday, September 06, 2009

6th September

Peregine Falcon: soaring high over park at 12.00pm before heading off towards the city.
Hobby: two birds sparred over the zoo at 12.10pm.
Swallow: two flew south.
Meadow Pipit: five flew south-west.
Blackcap: three birds again present.
Chiffchaff: 10 birds seen.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

5th September

These two pictures were taken in the park at 6.00am.

One of two Spotted Flycatchers in area 26 today

Ruddy Darters mating in the Wetland Pen, 16 were on the wing today.

Common Buzzard: one headed north at 11.45am.
Swift: one was feeding over the lake at 6.30am.
Tree Pipit: one flew south at 8.40am.
Meadow Pipit: three flew south-west at 10.45am.
Spotted Flycatcher: two birds were in the goose grazing pen, area 26. View from the gate near the bridge.
Blackcap: three birds in areas 24 and 29
Chiffchaff: twenty-five birds scattered around the park plus one of the race abietinus in area 26.
Willow Warbler: two birds in area 25.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

2nd September

Hobby: one flew south at 12.00pm.
Sparrowhawk: one frightening the House Martins just after the Hobby had flown through.
Little Owl: one was seen in area 10, the public tennis courts.
Spotted Flycatcher: one was seen in area 1.
Willow Warbler: two in area 25.
Chiffchaff: seven seen, five in area 30.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

1st September

I am back from a very hot and cloudless Algarve, where temperatures were in the thirties most days. A few photo highlights are below, these are followed by the birds that I missed whilest away. There are more photos from my holiday at and go to galleries.

This bird caused some confusion when seen at first from a long distance. Its identity is made clear at the bottom of the page.

Red-necked Nightjars were seen on several evenings as we sat by the pool. I was lucky enough to find an adult (top) juvenile (below).

Elanora's Falcon a lifer for me and totally unexpected.

Park Highlights

Sedge Warbler:
two birds were in a Willow tree by Long Bridge on 20th.
Common Redstart: a 1st winter male was in the grounds of the old golf/tennis school.
Garden Warbler: one on 21st and two on the 25th.
Little Grebe: a pair in area 2 had at least three fairly recently hatched young.
Yellow Wagtail: birds flew over on 22nd, 25th and 30th.
Garganey: the drake was still present on 26th.
Common Sandpiper: one was seen around the lake 26th.
Sandwich Tern: birds were heard flying over but not seen at 7.10am 26th, probably the birds that had flown south over Brent Res a few minutes earlier.
Lesser Whitethroat: one was present 30th.
Swift: two flew through 30th.

September 1st

Sand Martin:
one flew south at 8.00am.
Swallow: three flew south.
House Martin: fifteen over the lake.
Willow Warbler: three birds in area 26.
Chiffchaff: eight birds dotted about the park: