I am off to
Cornwall for a week
Good birds; hopefully and great scenery
Not much to report, clear blue skies a northerly wind are not the best for observing visible migration.
Peregrine Falcon: a male was circling above the lake at 12.15pm.
Tawny Owl: owls were calling from area 26 close to the Broadwalk at around 7.30pm yesterday. He has been doing this for the past four days. One was also calling from area 41.
Lesser Redpoll: one flew over.
Siskin: one was heard but not seen.
something has caught the rails attention
Water Rail eating the fish pellets put out for her and hopefully others.
Black-headed Gull caught in a strange position
Water Rail: still present and feeding on the food provided. A little bit intimidated by a couple of juvenile Moorhens.
Fieldfare: eight flew low north at 10.30am
Redwing: six mixed in with the above, also some hear passing overhead before sunrise.
Siskin: one flew over
With this northerly air flow things have gone a little quiet.
Water Rail: What looks like a female has once again returned to the rail ditch, for its third winter.
Meadow Pipit: One east mid morning.
Grey Wagtail: At least three birds are present in the park, spending a lot of time in the Leaf Yard, area 41.
Lesser Redpoll: One flew north.
Siskin: A party of four flew west.
Goldfinch: Eighteen flew east am and a small charm fed in the Wetland Pen, area 32 this afternoon.
The short tail and short thick looking bill, make me think that this is a female. The photo below shows the difference in size between the rail and a Moorhen
Not quite the clear skies that were forecast yesterday to start the day. Cloud eventually began to move of to the NW and a few birds began to move, nothing really significant until!
Hoopoe: While watching a party of 4 Magpies heading over the park at 8.50am, they suddenly deviated and gained height. What appeared to be their intended victim was a little bit higher and in front of them. I had a double take, it couldn’t be. Large rounded black and white wings, buff coloured body and a long bill. I hastily grabbed the telescope and tripod and was amazed to see a Hoopoe heading slightly away from me towards the SW. It must have seen the pursuers coming as it looked agitated, with head raised and flapping fairly quickly. Though a medium sized bird it would have been no competition if the Magpies had made up the ground. Fortunately they were on a slightly different course and headed off westwards. I watched as the bird headed off and in to the distance, superb.
Skylark: one flew east.
Meadow Pipit: eight singles, one landed briefly.
Pied Wagtail: seven birds in ones and two’s.
Redwing: six flew west.
Chaffinch: one hundred and forty in small parties headed mainly NW.
Brambling: two singles were picked out amongst the Chaffinches.
Common/Meally Redpoll: two were briefly in the trees in the Leaf Yard Wood, area 41.
Lesser Redpoll: four birds a pair and two singles.
Siskin: 22 birds in small groups.
Magpie: fourteen birds in small groups and flying quite high, were definitely not local birds.
Chiffchaff: two by my garden.
One of the high fliers
Not large numbers but still birds moving mainly westwards. Some of the thrushes were really high fliers and barely visible.
Lapland Bunting: A first park record. What was probably a male was picked up as it tailed a flock of about 40 Chaffinches at 11.30am. It was similar in length but appeared a lot dumpier, with very white under parts. As it was only just above tree top height, on one ocassion the chestnut nape was visible. It also called twice, which immediately brought back memories of last week on the Isles of Scilly where there were up to four birds on St Mary’s. Four other unidentified buntings flew SW at 7.05am.
Redwing: 280 flew west, one flock consisting of 170 birds.
Yellow Wagtail: one flew east at 7.15am.
Pied Wagtail: six flew over in various directions.
Grey Wagtail: three seen.
Chaffinch: seventy birds in several flocks flew west.
Chiffchaff: three again in area 31.
Jackdaw: the largest movement ever recorded was noted between 8.00am and 11.00am, though most were recorded between 8.00m and 8.45am. Some of the birds did land in trees bordering the lake, but were moved on by the local crows. I then had work commitments, but several groups were seen when that was finished, so how many were actually on the move?
Redwing: sixty headed west to north in small groups.
Song Thrush: fourteen flew west in one’s and two’s.
Siskin: three flew north.
Meadow Pipit. six singles were recorded.
Chiffchaff: three were in area 31.
Well I am back and in need of some rest, after walking miles on the Isles of Scilly in search of a rarity or two. It was very quiet indeed bird wise and birder wise. Though having fewer means the chance of some birds going undetected is greater, it makes it much more peaceful.
While away the only real day with passage birds from Europe passing through the park was Thursday. This was due to the wind finally swinging around to the south-east. A direction that we had been waiting for on the Isles of Scilly.
Birds seen in the park 7th included: Ring Ouzel, 9 Redwings, 50 Blackbirds, 20 Meadow Pipits, 20+ Swallows and Yellow Wagtail.
Birds seen today 9th;
1 Common Snipe flushed from grass in the wetland pen, 30 Redwings, 26 Song Thrush, 6 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps and Kingfisher(seems to be resident)
Below are a few snaps from The Isles of Scilly, more can be found on the link to my galleries.
St Mary’s from one of the Skybuses as we head home.
The Lookout B&B one of the nicest B&B’s that I have ever stayed in.
Looking south towards St Agnes at dusk (above) and Porthcressa beach as the sun comes up (below).
American Golden Plover over Porthcressa, it eventually relocated to the airport. A very elegant long winged wader.
American Golden Plover and Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Peregrines were seen daily, the one below to me looks a little bit different to the ones that I normally see.
Common Buzzards are not seen that often on the isles
Sparrowhawks don’t breed on the islands, though we had four in the air together
Kestrels could often be seen hanging in the breeze
Outside the sheltered waters of the islands the Atlantic waves pound the small rocky islets. My decision to go on a pelagic was not one of my best decisions I have made. Having never been sea sick before I thought this would give me the opportunity to get some sea bird photos, wrong. I was fine for the first two hours but then it hit me. For the next four hours I was either laying on a bench or hanging my head over the side. I did manage to see on of 21 Bonxies and a school of Common Dolphins, but missed Manx Shearwaters, Storm Petrels, Gannet and Fulmars. So I thank my friend Mark for letting me use some of his pictures.
This juvenile Shag is another victim of rubbish in our seas
What race of wagtail do you think this is?
Thanks again to Mark for this shot of a Red-breasted Flycatcher
This Grasshopper Warbler sunning him/herself alongside a Sedge Warbler.
This Blackbird has been present on the Garrison for several years and House Sparrows will swipe and unguarded piece of bread or cake from your plate.