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Saturday, February 25, 2012

25th February

It was good to spend some time in the park at last. It was just a shame that there was not much of interest on the passerine front, even the Smew wasn’t to be seen, well not by me. However having seen very few ducks over at Bushy Park this city centre park is absolutely busting. Ideally we could do without so many geese and coots, they make either a lot of mess or are having a fight, wives included.

Mandarin Duck: there were 54 mainly sleeping on area 8, which is where the majority of the waterfowl roost during the day.

Red Crested Pochard: 62 were present.

Gadwall: 24

Common Teal: 14

Northern Shoveler: 76

Siskin: 4 birds were in area 31.

Redwing: 10 birds were in the grounds of St Johns Lodge, area 30.

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There is a lot going on in the Heronry, which is split over 2 islands. The above group of nests is on area 8 on what is the original Heron Island. The majority of the Herons left this island in the early 1980’s when the last of the decaying Elms fell and also after the famous Michael Fish October Storm, which brought down half of the Chestnut tree in the above picture.

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Incoming nesting material

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adult males bill turn pink during the breeding season while the females are yellowish.

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Last years very watchable nest on area 7, seen from by the Bandstand is occupied again this year, with fresh material being added.

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This Great crested Grebe has entered another birds territory and

has to make a swift exit.

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The aggressor is hot on his heels,  but he just manages to get away

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Gadwall and his mates chase a female, spring was certainly in the air.

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A female Sparrowhawk with a full crop heads west

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A pair of Great spotted Woodpeckers

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Stock Dove

7 comments:

linda ashken said...

Delighted to se you're back with all your pics and info.

Marc Heath said...

Lovely bunch of shots, that top Gadwall shot is brilliant, nice and sharp and well caught.

Tony Duckett said...

Hi Linda.

It was good to spend a bit of time back on my patch. Hopefully with the days drawing out I will be spending more time out and about.

Tony Duckett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony Duckett said...

Hi Marc.
I did try and leave a comment with regards to the cracking Harrier photo but was unable to. The reedling shots from today are spot on as well.

birdman_euston said...

26 Feb: Beautiful crisp, clear, calm morning. Spring in full swing. Crocuses and daffodils coming into bloom. Kestrels mating in area 32 at 8.25 (a passerby said an owl roosts in the westernmost next box beyond the small pond but I've never seen one). Male Blackcap (first of the season for me) appeared briefly in area 31 five minutes later; I thought he'd moved on but lo and behold, he reappeared half an hour later preceded by a female - he's a fast worker! Also in area 31, a Robin silently fluffed out its red breast feathers at two others in an oak sapling, raising its bill skywards and doing the Egyptian, i.e. moving its head back and forth laterally - not sure if this was a friendly or antagonistic display. No sign of yesterday's Siskins, just one Goldcrest in evidence. Dunnocks singing everywhere.

Tony Duckett said...

The Blackcaps are good, that was the last place we saw one towards the end of last year. It is an area where birds have wintered or seem to turn up in during the first months of the year. I have been told by members of the public that they have seen an owl in a Kestrel box, it has always turned out to be a puffed up Kestrel. However a Little Owl was in the box above the path in area 32. Area 33 was the area that the male Little Owl was first seen in 6 or so years ago.