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Monday, November 29, 2010

29th November

 

Peregrine Falcon: A pair were on the lookout for breakfast above the park at 7.45am. They were almost hovering at times as they hung in the wind. They eventually headed off westwards.

Redwing: four birds flew east at 8.30am.

Woodcock: one was flushed from undergrowth in area 40 (shown below).

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Friday, November 26, 2010

26th November

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The Water Rail can still be seen in the rail ditch in area 2. 

Not much to report apart from that the two Firecrests are now in the Leaf Yard Wood. They do sometimes feed in the Holme Oak and Ivy covered trees on by the fence in area 40.

The photos below show the differences between Goldcrest and Firecrest both of which are in the same area.

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The above photo of the Firecrest was taken today along with the Goldcrest. The other Firecrest shots were taken on Monday.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

24th November

Water Rail: 1 still present in area 2.

Fieldfare: sixteen flew west at 10.30am.

Lesser Redpoll: two flew west.

Siskin: four birds seen several times in area 1 and 31.

Rook: one flew north at 1.30pm, the first of the year.

Rook below

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Monday, November 22, 2010

22nd November

We new there had to be present somewhere and today we bumped into them.

Firecrest: there were two possibly three feeding in the evergreen shrubs by the eastern fence to The Ambassadors residence, just north of area 1.

Siskin: five landed in an Alder tree close to the Firecrests.

Lesser Redpoll: two singles flew over.

Fieldfare: twenty-four flew NE at 7.50am.

Redwing: six flew north at 7.47am.

Lapwing: one circled the open spaces from 7.30am until 7.45am.

Water Rail: One present in area 2.

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Firecrest

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Sparrowhawk mobbed by a pesky crow

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I made a flying visit to Norfolk to see my mother-inlaw on Saturday. Fog lingered all day, making birding difficult. I did however manage to see a couple of interesting things.

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These Waxwings were in the heart of Great Yarmouth  

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These Lapland Buntings were part of a flock of over 140

Friday, November 19, 2010

19th November

At last something to report again.

Goldeneye: Dave and I were just discussing last nights autumn watch and the fact that cold weather was on the way. This according to Chris Packham should bring in wintering Goldeneye. Dave has never seen one in the park and my last one was back in the mid 1980’s. Within five minutes we were looking at a fairly tired looking male on the main lake near the rowing boat moorings. It was fairly faithful to this area, though it did swim towards the Heron Island. At around 11.40 it was flushed from the lake by a large dog and couldn’t be located, though we thought that it may be in area 35. While feeding the waterfowl in this location during the afternoon, my attention was drawn to the unmistakeable whistling sound of a flying Goldeneye dropping back down on to the water. It remained here for a while, but when the Tufted Ducks flew back out on to the main lake it went with them. There is a chance that it may fly back and join the collection Goldeneye’s.

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Mandarin Duck: At least 48 birds are present, with the best site to see them is under the Willow trees just past area 2 and then on the bank of the island mid-way along area 8 or on the mainland opposite roosting under some coppiced Alders.

Red crested Pochard: 56 present.

Gadwall: 12 present.

Shoveler: 18 present.

Ruddy Duck: one by area 8.

Siskin: two were in area 34 this afternoon.

Long-tailed Tit: three flocks totalling around sixty-five birds were seen on our walk this morning, very few Goldcrests though.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

15th November

Yesterday

Brambling:15 flew west yesterday morning.

Today

Water Rail: still present in area 2.

Redwing: six flew west.

Chiffchaff. one was calling from a willow tree near Clarence Bridge.

Siskin: five flew through this morning.

Lesser Redpoll: one flew west.

       Sparrowhawk male doing what he does best, scaring all the birds away from the feeder in my garden.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

12th November

This has not been the best week for being out and about in the park. Today was the first when there really was anything worth mentioning.

Water Rail: Still only one bird present in area 2.

Redwing: At least fourteen flew through in small groups, a handful landed briefly before moving on.

Fieldfare: One was chuck chuck chucking away from the top of a tree in Queen Mary’s before heading off NW.

Lesser Redpoll: One flew west over the Nature Study Centre mid-morning.

Siskin: Two singles flew west.

The drake waterfowl are now beginning to look really smart.

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The colour on the Bufflehead changes with the direction of the sunlight, which hasn’t been that often this week.

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Going, Going

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Gone

Friday, November 05, 2010

5th November

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A duck from the collection, do you recognise her?

The weather has still not been that kind for those wishing to see large numbers of visible migrants.

Water Rail: still only one in the rail ditch in area 2. It has been a bit elusive, probably due to the fact that the weather has been so mild and the need to visit the feeding station is not so great.

Mandarin: at least forty-eight birds are now present. Birds can be heard flying in to the park during the dark.

Red crested Pochard: at least fifty-six present.

Jackdaw: two flew north-east at 8.50am.

Redwing: around fifty birds flew through in small parties, with some stopping off briefly to feed in the Yew trees.

Chiffchaff: one in area 32.

Siskin: four singles were heard, with only one being seen.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

1st November

After a fairly pleasant week down on the the Lands End peninsular, I arrive back to find out that I missed out again on a good bird in the park. I quick roundup of what was seen follows.

Water Rail: still present

25th: 2 Skylarks, 4 Lesser Redpolls, 15+ Siskins.

26th: 1 male Ring Ouzel fed with Blackbirds in Queen Mary’s Gardens, 20+ Siskins, Chiffchaff.

27th: Ring Ouzel was still present in area 19.

28th: Eurasian Wigeon a duck was present on the main lake.

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1st November

Eurasian Wigeon: the duck is still present, either on the main lake by area 8 or in  with the collection Wigeon in area 35.

Water Rail: still present in area 2.

Redwing: seventy four flew NW in three flocks.

Fieldfare: a flock of 32 flew NW.

Meadow Pipit: one over.

Pied Wagtail: six birds flew SW.

Chaffinch: a flock of 38 flew NW.

Goldfinch: a flock of 36 were perched in tree’s by Kent Passage, area 5. 

Siskin: four singles flew through.

Now for a quick review of I saw down in far west Cornwall:

Winds were not that favourable for drift migrants out of Europe being northerly on the first two days before swinging around to the south or south west. The best birds were 5 Yellow-browed Warblers, 4 Firecrests, 2 Merlins, 9 Chough, 8 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Mediterranean Shearwaters, Arctic Skua, Great Skua, 16 Purple Sandpipers, Buff-breasted Sandpiper in with a flock of 200+ Golden Plovers, and the star bird American Bittern.

For the stars of the show you will have to look at all the pictures.

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The area circled is the Old Dairy, a one bedroom annex to what is almost the most south westerly house in the UK. DSC_1742

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Sunset from the patio

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Chough were seen regularly

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Corvids were constantly harassing the birds of prey in the area, also mobbing the American Bittern when it flew. The three picture above show Buzzard, Kestrel being pestered, but the Peregrine had a go at two Ravens.

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Longships lighthouse of the coast of Lands End, good for sea watching in the right conditions. The two pictures below were surprises over the sea.

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Sea watching from Pendeen lighthouse can be truly exhilarating, with 10,000’s of birds passing through the course of a good day. I saw large numbers of Gannets, Kittiwakes, auks plus a few skuas and shearwaters.

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I caught this distant shot of a Peregrine flying far out to see after two auks.

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This female Black Redstart must have arrived on this beach in the drizzle.

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Nanjizal Cove, a great place on any sunny day with a brisk westerly blowing. This day though will never be forgotten though. My wife and I sat on the slope and watched in awe at the agility of these mammals. 

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More photos can be found in my picture gallery