I am off to the Isles of Scilly for a weeks birding, with luck there could be a new species for me there.
Please report any interesting park birds, by leaving details in the comments box.
Water Rail: what we presume to be one of our returning birds was present in the rail ditch, area 2 this morning. This is the earliest autumn date for this species.
Swallow: 68 birds passed through.
House Martin: 2 were in with one party of swallows.
Meadow Pipit: 18 birds in small groups headed west.
Blackcap: 6 were present.
Chiffchaff: 14 were present.
Lesser Redpoll: one flew east.
The weekend away turned out to be one of the most quiet Septembers that I can remember up on the North Norfolk Coast. Passerines were very few, with the best bird being an Arctic Warbler that was found late in the day, giving birders very little time to get there before it would go to roost. As is often the case it had gone the following day. We spent much of the time scanning the sea, Friday at Cley before moving to Titchwell and Saturday and Sunday again at Titchwell, though we did have a look around the Dell in Wells Woods, where nothing out of the ordinary was seen.
Arctic Skua pursuing a Sandwich Tern, making it regurgitate a fish, which it follows down to the sea.
Knots leave their high tide roost site
There were some interesting happenings in the park while I was away. On Saturday around mid-day and later in the evening there was a report of a Wiskered Tern over the lake, it was reported again on the Sunday morning. Dave was around on both days and was soon on the site where there was know sign of a bird or birder. This is all very strange and to go with that report there was also a supposed sighting of a Pectoral Sandpiper on Hampstead Heath. This bird was also looked, the pond it was reported to be on had know mud for a wader to feed on.
Swallow: 300 flew south in three flocks.
Meadow Pipit: 6 singles.
Chiffchaff: 6 were seen.
Since the 19th bird movement through and over the park has been fairly slow, with the same few species being recorded but in lower numbers.
Today with the wind abating a bit I was hoping for a slight improvement. The wind direction was still from a westerly direction, so not the best and today followed the same pattern as in previous days. The rail ditch has been cut so with luck we should soon see a Water Rail or two sneaking in and out of the reeds.
Swallow: 90 passed through.
Meadow Pipit: 35 over.
Yellow Wagtail: 1 west.
Grey Wagtail: 5 over, plus two regular birds in area 1.
Chiffchaff: 12 birds seen in area 32 and 39.
Blackcap: 6 seen or heard.
Siskin: 6 over.
Lesser Redpoll: 1 flew south-west at 7.25am.
Chiffchaffs at this time of year seem to all be different in colour.
This Stock Dove has a slightly strange plumage pattern on its crown and right wing.
I am off to Norfolk for a long weekend, so anyone birding in the park please leave me details of any interesting sightings.
With the wind swinging around to the west, the past couple of days have been a little slow.
Kingfisher: yesterday a bird was seen in area 1 and 34.
Swallow: small numbers were seen both days.
House Martin: 6 birds were over the lake yesterday.
Yellow Wagtail: one flew over yesterday.
Meadow Pipit: small numbers were seen both days.
Chiffchaff and Blackcaps are present in small numbers.
Spotted Flycatcher: one was moving between area 40 & 41.
The flycatcher was very vocal and it also gave me the chance to improve on last weekends wing stretching bird.
Common Snipe: one was flushed from a patch of long grass on the open spaces at 7.20am.
Hobby: possibly a very high flying juvenile seemed to be struggling in the stiff breeze.
Sparrowhawk: three birds were in the air together at 11.35am.
Collared Dove: one flew through Queen Mary’s Gardens.
Swallow: 360+ flew through, most of them at a really high altitude.
Sand Martin: a flock of 15 flew SE at 7.05am, which signalled the start of the hirundine passage that started with a rush, slowed up and then another rush was noted mid morning.
House Martin: 210+ flew through.
Tree Pipit: one landed in a tree for around 5 minutes mid morning, before heading off eastwards.
Meadow Pipit: 55 were seen, the passage being lighter than yesterdays.
Grey Wagtail: six birds flew through.
Whinchat: possibly yesterdays bird was seen to fly off at 6.55am.
Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps are still present in reasonable numbers.
Little Egret: one flew east at 7.45am. I am surprised we do not have more sightings of this species. It is one of a small band of birds who’s numbers are increasing steadily in the UK.
Honey Buzzard: a very high flying bird was undoubtedly this species, but it was so high and distant that I will not be claiming it to be one.
Common Buzzard: seven birds flew through between 11.25am and 1.00pm, the most seen together were a group of three.
Peregrine Falcon: there was a high flier over the Zoo at 1.50pm.
Sparrowhawk: three birds were seen.
Barn Swallow: 480 were seen passing through, most of them at a really high altitude. These were just the one’s that I saw, the passage steady throughout the day.
House Martin: these too were on the move, with 230 observed, though many more must have passed through.
Yellow Wagtail: 2 singles headed south-west.
Grey Wagtail: three were around the pond in the Nature Study Centre, area 1.
Northern Wheatear: one turned up late in the day, by the gorse bushes in area 34.
Whinchat: one was in the company of the above species, well they were in the same area.
Meadow Pipit: 60 headed SW, though others were heard but not seen.
Spotted Flycatcher:2 were in area 39.
Chiffchaff: at least 22 were around the park.
Linnet: one flew SW at 7.55am.
Shoveler: 10 were on the lake.
Migrant Hawker (above) and Ruddy Darter (below)
Swallow: 55 flew through.
House Martin: 26 were over the lake at 7.50am.
Yellow Wagtail: 2 singles flew SW.
Grey Wagtail: one local bird and 2 passage birds.
Meadow Pipit: 30 flew through, with more heard than seen due to the clear blue skies, which makes it really hard to pick birds up.
Spotted Flycatcher: 2 birds were in the Lime trees just west of area 39.
Chiffchaff: birds were seen around the park.
Blackcap: as with the above species, birds were around most suitable locations.
Jackdaw: one was perched in area 1 at 10.30am.
Siskin: one flew through.
Spotted Flycatcher: two in area 32 and one in area 39.
Common Redstart: a 1st winter male was present in the Old Golf/tennis School.
Lesser Whitethroat: one also in area 39.
Common Whitethroat: one in the Cricket Pen, area 31.
Blackcap: at least 8 in area 34.
Willow Warbler: two in area 39.
Chiffchaff: fifteen present.
Swallow: a passage of at least 160 were seen between 7.15am and 8.00am.
Meadow Pipit: a 155 flew SW in flocks of up to 30, prior to 8.45am.
Tree Pipit: one flew west at 7.25am.
Lesser Redpoll: the first of the autumn flew SW.
Siskin: one flew over area 1.
Three Kestrels were in area 32 this morning.
A brisk wind from a southerly direction, allowed us to witness some visible migration between 7.00 and 8.00am, also bringing good numbers of migrant passerines to the park.
Swift: one flew SW at 8.50am.
Swallow: around seventy headed SW in small flocks.
House Martin: a flock of eight fed above the lake.
Tree Pipit: one flew west at 11.30am.
Meadow Pipit: around seventy-five headed SW in small parties.
Yellow Wagtail: two singles flew west.
Grey Wagtail: four flew through.
Common Redstart: a male was seen in the Cricket Pen at 10.00am.
Blackcap: over thirty-five birds were feeding on berry baring bushes in area 30,31,35 and 41.
Garden Warbler: one in area 32.
Common Whitethroat: three in area 31 and 32.
Chiffchaff: twenty-six were seen mainly in the usual places.
Willow Warbler: four in areas 31 and 41.
Spotted Flycatcher: seven possibly eight were present, 3 in area 30 and the others in area 41.
Crossbill: one almost landed in area 32 at 8.25am but had second thoughts.
The above pictures and video of Spotted Flycatchers were digiscoped.
Blackcap (this bird dropped down into this willow tree)
Long-tailed Tit (it is worth checking the large mixed tit as you never know what you could find)
The pair of Kestrels in area 32 now use the box for roosting
At last a few migrants to go through.
Sandwich Tern: two birds that were thought to be this species flew SW at around 10.45am.
Meadow Pipit: 12 birds flew south at 7.25am, the first of the autumn.
Tree Pipit: one was found perched in a willow tree at the end of area 34 at 8.30am, where it stayed for 10 minutes. I knew I should have carried my camera.
Grey Wagtail: 2 birds were in area 1, feeding at times on the cascade.
Pied Wagtail: one flew through.
Swallow: five flew SW early morning.
Common Whitethroat: four birds in areas 31 and 32.
Blackcap: fourteen birds also in areas 30, 31 and 32.
Garden Warbler: two birds seen in area 30 and in 32, where it was sometimes seen feeding in the hedge.
Reed Warbler: at least two birds in area 32.
Willow Warbler: four seen, with one singing in area 30.
Chiffchaff: eighteen birds in the same area as the above species, with the odd bird in the north-west corner in areas 39 and 40.
Garden Warbler in area 32
Common Whitethroat in area 31
Whinchat: a bird again in scrub close to area 31 and 34 this morning.
Chiffchaff: six birds in with a tit flock in area 31, some also seen on the canal embankment.
Willow Warbler: birds also reported from canal embankment.
Spotted Flycatcher: 2 birds in area 31 this afternoon.
Whinchat: one present in Cricket Pen (Sash)
Swallow: four flew through.
Spotted Flycatcher: one sheltering in trees just behind the old golf/tennis school, area 39.
Chiffchaff: at least 8 birds calling.
Siskin: a flock of fourteen flew SW at 8.30am.
Hobby: an adult was over the lake from 7.30am until at least 9.30am. It made several stoops at small passerines but failed, only catching the odd insect in a very stiff breeze.
Sparrowhawk: one made a half hearted attempt to move the Hobby on.
Yellow Wagtail: one flew over at 9.30am.
Grey Wagtail: one was seen regularly in area 1.
Swallow: eighteen flew NW.
House Martin: six were seen with the swallows.
Whinchat: one was seen on the Gorse and bramble patch by area 34.
Northern Wheatear: one landed briefly before moving off to the SW at 9.00am.
Chiffchaff: two were seen.
Other warblers were not seen at all, although we didn’t spend much time waiting around.
moving at speed in the hope of catching a finch
pestered by a crow, that soon gave up
not the most comfortable place to perch for this juv Grey Heron