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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grey Seals on Horsey Beach

I popped up to Norfolk on family business yesterday, but managed to take my daughter and her freind to see the recently born Grey Seal pups on Horsey Beach. It was also the first time that I had been there at this time of year, and well worth a visit. We arrived in glorious sun, which unfortunately soon departed behind thickening cloud. Thankfully the rain didn't arrive until we had got back to the safety of the car.

The only birds of note, though that wasn't the purpose of the visit were; 1 Great northern Diver, several Red-throated Divers, Gannets and Guilllemots. On the nearby fields Pink-footed Geese fed and 6 Common Cranes flew by.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

26th November

Water Rail: two in area 2.
Fieldfare: sixty flew through prior to 7.45am.
Redwing: birds could be heard moving from 6.00am, then 140 flew through heading SW prior to 8.00am.
Chiffchaff: one in the oak trees in area 2.
Lesser Redpoll: one flew over.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

25th November

There hasn't been a lot of change over the past few days, the Med Gull might still be present. I just haven't been able to have a real good scout around.

Red crested Pochard:
forty-two birds were on the lake.
Shoveler: ten birds were present.
Water Rail: the two birds are still present in the ditch and using the feeding station in area 2.
Fieldfare: sixteen birds were seen perched in trees in area 26, before flying off towards area 29.
Redwing: fourteen birds were accompanying the Fieldfares.
Goldfinch: eighteen birds were using the feeders in area 24.
Lesser Redpoll: two were feeding in the silver birch trees in area 24.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

21st November

Mediterranean Gull: 1st winter bird still present on the lake. Though at times it is hard to locate when sat on the water amongst all the Black-heads, it dose come closer when bread is thrown for the masses.
Water Rail. The two birds in area 2 have been showing and calling well over the past couple of days.
Fieldfare: a small flock of eleven flew north.
Redwing: a couple of small flocks flew north, and a few birds were seen feeding on Yew berries in area 1.
Red crested Pochard: the feral flock on the lake has increased to 38, after a few days when numbers had dropped off.
Shoveler: numbers have incresed from 6 birds a week ago to 13 today.
Common Teal: a female is associating with the collection birds in area 1.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

17th November

Mediterranean Gull: 1st winter still present
Fieldfare: one-hundred and ten birds in small flocks, flew mainly SW between 7.40am and 8.00am.
Redwing: forty birds mixed in with the above.
Blackcap: a female was feeding on ivy berries on the Mediterranean border Queen Mary's Gardens, area 14.

Friday, November 13, 2009

13th November

A thouroughly miserable day, with the rain only easing mid morning, before returning again.

Mediterranean Gull:
1st winter still present.
Fieldfare: seven birds with five Redwings looked as if the wanted to come down at 10.30am, they then had second thoughts and headed off westwards.
Red-crested Pochard: thirty-two birds were on the lake in two groups.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

12th November

Mediterranean Gull: the 1st winter bird was on a post in the lake at 7.50am.
Ruddy Duck: two birds were on the lake, we used to have a small flock of around 13 bird on the lake during the winter period. It looks like the cull has taken most of our birds.
Gadwall: only three present on the lake, maybe they haven't moved in to London so far this autumn.
Common Teal: one female mixing in with the collection teal in area 1, just as the Garganey did during the spring and summer.
Fieldfare: a flock of twelve landed briefly in trees in area 26 at 7.25am.
Redwing: singles past through.
Siskin: one was in area 26 this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11th November

Slightly better photos of the 1st winter Mediterranean Gull

The photo above show the differences in structure between the Med and Black-headed Gull. Where as the one below shows the subtle differences between Med Gull and Coot.

Mediterranean Gull: The first winter was still present on and around the lake.
Fieldfare: At least eighteen birds in two flocks dropped in briefly this morning.
Redwing: Birds passed over in one's and two's throughout the morning.
Meadow Pipit: One was heard flying over.
Tree Creeper: One in trees close to Longbridge, area 26.
House Sparrow: two females were present in the cricket pen, area 24. It is extremely unusual to see this species away from the colony in London Zoo.
Lesser Redpoll: At least four birds were feeding in the silver birch trees in area 24.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10th November

Mediterranean Gull: 1st winter bird again present.
Yellow-legged Gull: adult again present.
Wood Pigeon: 1400 flew south between 7.00am and 7.40am.
Ring Ouzel: a female flew NW with five Redwings at 7.20am.
Redwing: sixty flew westish in small groups.
Lesser Redpoll: one in area 26 with 14 Goldfinches.

Monday, November 09, 2009

9th November

Yellow-legged Gull; primaries are still not all fully grown, creating a slightly short-winged appearance.

Mediterranean Gull: the 1st winter was feeding on the football pitches at 7.30 am, before moving to the lake by 8.30am.
Yellow-legged Gull: the adult bird was present on the lake again for most of the day.
Water Rail: two birds in area 2.
Fieldfare: two singles flew over.
Redwing: twenty five birds in one's and two's passed through.
Meadow Pipit: a single bird flew west.
Tree Creeper: one was in area 2 between 7.30am and 9.00am, with a tit flock.
Lesser Redpoll: a small flock landed in area 24 for a few minutes.
Siskin: two flew through.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

7th November

Water Rail: two birds showing well in the rail ditch.
Mediterranean Gull: the first winter was around until 11.40am at least.
Skylark: one flew west.

Friday, November 06, 2009

6th November

A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was on the lake this morning. This was only the second time a bird in this plumage had been seen in the park since 1982.

I thought the scaling of this Cormorants feathers was worth a quick snap.

Water Rail: 2 birds still showing in area 2.
Mediterranean Gull: a 1st winter bird was on the lake until at least 9.30am, but couldn't be found at mid-day.
Chiffchaff: one was by the Nature Study Centre, area 1 this morning.
Siskin: a dozen were feeding in Silver Birch trees in area 24.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

5th November

Woodcock: one landed in the wildlife garden in area 10 at 6.15am.
Water Rail: two in area 2.
Redwing: twelve flew west.
Siskin: ten birds by the feeders in area 29.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

4th November

Water Rail: only the two in the rail ditch seen today.
Grey Wagtail: two flew west.
Fieldfare: twenty four flew west in two flocks, with the odd Redwing accompanying them.
Redwing: thirty-six flew west in dribs and drabs.
Firecrest: a female was seen in trees near the stage door to the Open Air Theatre, area 13 at 11.00am.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

3rd November

The Water Rails in area 2 are really enjoying life in and around the feeding station.

To see the latest Water Rail stand by the gate and view the area marked by the red dotted line in the photo below.

Here is a quick review of last weeks birds plus todays highlights.

1000+ Woodpigeons.
2 Skylarks.
200 Redwings.

2500 Woodpigeons.

1 Rock Pipit
1 Skylark

300+ Redwings
20 Fieldfares


Little Grebe:
three birds on the lake.
Egyptian Goose: fifty seven birds were on the grass bordering the lake this afternoon.
Red crested Pochard: a fl0ck of forty-five birds were displaying on the main lake this morning.
Water Rail: two birds in area 2 and at last one in the Wetland, area 25.
Redwing: eleven birds stopped of briefly.
Tree creeper: one bird was seen in area 26, so hopefully both birds are still present.
Meally Redpoll: a bird that was probably this species flew west at 8.10am.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

1st November

Well I am back from what was a fairly quiet time bird and weather wise down on the Lands End peninsular. The weather for the first two days was a brisk westerly that then veered south to south east. Which brought a few days with dense fog or low cloud for part of the day. This put pay to a planned day trip to the Isles of Scilly from the nearby airport, as flights were sometimes cancelled for the whole day.
There were very few eastern vagrants and none at all from America. Talking to the local birders, this has been the worst autumn ever for birds migrating in this corner of the UK. My highlights were single Cory's and Great Shearwater, Sabines Gull, Short-toed Lark, Red-throated Pipit, Raddes Warbler (lifer), Yellow-browed Warbler and Siberian Chiffchaff. There were large numbers of finches on the move most days, with Redwings turning up from mid-week onwards. Also from mid-week it seemed that Black Redstarts were on most beaches and also in areas away from the coast.

I took advantage of a sunny start to one of the days to grab a couple of shots of Purple Sandpipers in Sennen.

Lands End was my early morning patch before the tourists turned up. Good for sea birds and a few other species.

Giant Black Redstart
Pendeen Lighthose and the rocks just off shore that sea birds funnel between if the winds are in the right direction. I saw Arctic Skuas, Scoters, 1000's of auks, Gannets and Kittiwakes.

Gannets and Kittiwakes

Razorbills and Guillemots

I was lucky enough to witness a struggle between a Stoat and a Rabbit, unfortunately there was only one likely outcome.