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Thursday, April 29, 2010

27th and 28th April

Action on the bird front is continuing to be very slow.


Turtle Dove: one flew north at 2.00pm.

Common Buzzard: one flew north at 4.00pm.

Kestrel: Two males were hovering over the open spaces during the afternoon. An intruder has been trying to muscle in on the female in the wetland pen.

Swift: one flew over during the afternoon.

Reed Warbler: One singing in the reed bed near the boathouse cafe. 


Turtle Dove: one flew north at 7.15am.

Swift: nine birds over in 1’s and 2’s.

House Martin: twelve birds over the park.

Reed Warbler: two birds in the reed beds near Hanover Bridge, area 2.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

25th April

Little Owl: The male was showing well this morning on Cumberland Green, area 20.

Tawny Owl: The adult was again showing in the Leaf Yard Wood, area 29. Only seen when the Blackbirds and Jay’s drew my attention to it.

Common Swift: Seven birds flew west in a heavy shower at 8.30am.

House Martin: eight birds were over the lake.

Reed Warbler: One in reeds at the end of Hanover Island, area 2.

The other species are much as they have been over the past few days.

Song Thrush



Little Owl (above) and Tawny Owl (below)



A trip to the Chiltern yesterday for a walk, pub lunch and my  annual fix of plenty of  graceful Red Kites.






Friday, April 23, 2010

23rd April


Garganey: What surely must be last years drake, was back with the collection birds 4 days earlier than last year, again in area 1. There are 7 drakes in the collection and now there are 8.

House Martin: Two birds were over the lake.

Northern Wheatear: A 1st year male was battling with cricketers and dog walkers on the open spaces, area 28.

Reed Warbler: A bird was singing from the reed bed on Hanover Island, area 1.

Sedge Warbler: One was singing very quietly on the Bandstand Island, area 6.

Willow Warbler: Only one bird heard today, in area 2.

Chiffchaff: Three birds singing.


Garganey in area 1


These two pictures show the throat sack that is extended when the bird omits its frog like call.



Northern Wheatear (above) and the 1st Coot family of the year (below).


Thursday, April 22, 2010

22nd April


Mandarin Ducks perched on top of an Ash tree in area 1.


There are at least six male Green Woodpeckers holding territories.

Things quietened down to day a litle today.

Sparrowhawk: Two birds seen.

Tawny Owl: An adult was chased by Blackbirds through the wood in area 29.

Grey Wagtail: A male was feeding along the edge of the lake by the bandstand, for the first time this year.

Willow Warbler: Only two birds heard.

Chiffchaff: Seven birds singing.

Blackcap: Ten birds seen.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

21st April

Common Buzzard: One soared over area 26 at 11.35am, before drifting off eastwards.

Sparrowhawk: Two pairs displayed over Queen Mary’s Gardens at 8.00am.

House Martin: One was over the lake at mid-day.

Common Whitethroat: A male was in area 29 this afternoon.

Willow Warbler: At least nine birds present.

Chiffchaff: Six birds heard.

Blackcap: Males heard all over the park.

Lesser Redpoll: Two flew north

Tufted/Pochard hybrid present at 6.10am.


Common Buzzard with a blue sky background and then a cloudy background.



Sparrowhawk (male)



Great Spotted Woodpecker (female)


Mandarin preparing for takeoff


Tufted/Pochard hybrid



Monday, April 19, 2010

Tw19th April

Swallow: Four birds flew through.

House Martin: Five birds overhead, they could be resident birds returning.

Willow Warbler: Five birds were singing around the park, best viewed in area 26 and 29.

Chiffchaff: Five birds present.

Sparrowhawk: Two pairs seen over the lake.

Kestrel: Three birds seen


Willow Warbler




These pictures show the difference in structure of Sparrowhawk (above) and Kestrel (below).



Sunday, April 18, 2010

18th April

Common Buzzard: Two flew SW at 4.15pm

Red Kite: One was in the company of the above species.

Sparrowhawk: females were seen four times on this mornings bird walk.

Little Owl: the male was heard and seen at 6.20am.

Redwing: One flew north-east.

Swallow: six birds flew north.

House Martin: two flew north.

Grey Wagtail: one flew north.

Chiffchaff: three birds were singing in area 1, 25 and 29.

Blackcap: six males were present.

Jaackdaw: one flew south.


Little Owl male on the eastern side of the park



Stock Dove in the Leaf Yard Wood, area 29.



Asculapian snake in my garden, about 40cm in length.




Saturday, April 17, 2010

17th April

This week has been very disappointing with very little in the way of spring migrants. The cold north-easterly wind is delaying the arrival of birds on passage. If the forecaster are to be believed then tomorrow could be a reasonable day, if we have some patchy cloud rather than dawn to dusk sunshine.

Last weeks

Chiffchaff: four birds seem to be holding territories.

Blackcap: This species seems to be the only migrant that has increased in numbers; 9 males can be heard in most areas with suitable habitat.

Willow Warbler: One was singing in area 26 15th.

Meadow Pipit: four birds headed north 15th.

Pied Wagtail: Two birds were on the ground 15th.

Jackdaw: One flew east 15th.

House Sparrow: A male was feeding in my garden by St Marks Bridge 15th & 17th. Even though there are still reasonable numbers in the zoo, birds seldom stray.

Goldfinch: Eight birds on feeders in area 29 and in my garden.

Stock Dove: Sixteen birds feeding in my garden by St Marks Bridge every afternoon.

Kestrel: The female in area 25 seems to have chosen her old nest box again this year.

Sparrowhawk: Two females displayed 15th.


Chiffchaff (above and below)


Blackcap (female below)


Wren (below)



Great Scaup: this bird has been present in the park for thirteen years, having turned up one winter.


Male Red crested Pochards chase a female high over the lake.



This is the end result of all that chasing, these hatched out on 15th.


European Pochard (drake above) Tufted X Pochard hybrid (below)


Saturday, April 10, 2010

10th April

Sorry there hasn’t been any recent news, I was away at a Birds and Climate Change Conference. So here is an update of what has been around in my absence.

Ring Ouzel: The male was last seen on the 9th unless someone knows otherwise.

Willow Warbler: At least seven were present on the 8th & 9th.

Chiffchaff: Ten birds were singing around the park 8th.

Yellow Wagtail: One flew north at 7.10am 9th.

Lesser Redpoll: Two flew over 9th.


Several pairs of Grey Herons have young in their nests while others are displaying and looking for nesting opportunities.



Red Crested Pochards males have been busy chasing females or each other.



While on my way up to the conference I was able to call in at Eyebrook reservoir. Birds on show included 3 Ospreys, 2 Red Kites, Green-winged Teal, Little-ringed Plover and Tree Sparrow.