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Monday, April 16, 2012

16th April

Regent’s Park:

I take it that there was very little on the move in the park today as nobody has left me any messages. I popped in briefly between 3.15pm and 4.15pm, concentrating on the Leaf Yard Wood area.

Willow Warbler: one bird singing from between area 41 and 42.

Chiffchaff: two birds were singing from either ends of the wood.

Blackcap: three males were singing.

Kittiwake: an adult flew NE at 3.55pm, the first sighting for many years.

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Bushy Park

After two weeks away, very little has changed on the western half of the park, apart from;

Barn Swallow: two singe birds were seen one over the Stockyard and another heading quickly west.

Northern Wheatear: a stunning male was in the area south of Upper Lodge Road.

Willow Warbler: three birds were singing, two in the Woodland Gardens and one in the Round Plantation.

Other News

Skylark: six birds were also in the area south of Upper Lodge Road.

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11 comments:

glen said...

A lovely looking Wheatear indeed.
Ravens over the park? Would of loved to of seen that!

birdman_euston said...

17 Apr: (I skipped yesterday morning, when the weather was fine, to nurse a heel blister - in favour of this morning, when the weather was forecast to be foul with S winds before daybreak, hoping the Great Flusher in the Sky would rain nocturnal migrants on me. Such is the mindset of the responsible, wounded birder!)

In the event, the rain didn't arrive till 07.30, preceded by a southerly gale that blew a Jackdaw NE across the park at dawn, 06.00.

Reed Bunting 1: heard calling but not seen in Cricket Pen, area 32, at 07.10.

Willow Warbler 1: area 42.

Chiffchaff 6: areas 31 [pair seen at 07.15, aggressive male singing [3-tone] and fluttering around a presumed female that was calling continuously], 14 [3-tone song, ending with repeated bottom note - I'm nicknaming him 'John', after John Entwistle, deceased former bass player of The Who], 17 ['Jason', 2-tone], 19 [3-tone, near Inner Circle], and 41 ['Paul', 4-tone].

Black-headed Gull 1: summer adult, feeding in area 36 and roosting on fencepost off area 9 - this bird can't seem to wean itself off the food handouts and head for the breeding grounds.

Shelduck 2: pair with winged duck, area 36.

Plane trees are just starting to leaf out.

Noushka said...

Nice blog and great observations!
You've got a couple of great shots!
Congratulation for your work and happy birding!
Cheers

birdman_euston said...

18 Apr: Disappointingly, a quiet morning for me bird-wise. Weather similar to yesterday but there were showers overnight; gusty SE wind not quite as strong; heavy rain starting at 07.30.

Pied Wagtail 1: area 9 lakeshore at 07.10.

Chiffchaff 5: areas 14 [three-tone 'John'], 17 [two-tone 'Jason'], 19 [a three-tone song, with the lowest note sung without repetition but slurred downwards: I'm calling him 'Duane', after the late lamented slide-guitar virtuoso of the Allman Brothers Band], 33->32->31 [three-tone] and 41 [four-tone 'Paul'].

(No Willow Warblers heard today by me.)

Two regulars may have moved on recently: the Chiffchaff in Winfield House garden, area 1 has not been heard singing by me since 14 Apr; and I haven't seen the pair of Kestrels in the Wetland Pen, area 32 for several days - my last sighting was on 7 Apr, of a male Kestrel carrying food across the Cricket Squares, area 37 towards area 32 - were they / are they still nesting?

The silver birch trees in areas 17, 31 and 34 are leafing out fast.

Fox seen under the feeder in area 41 at 06.05.

Tony Duckett said...

Hi Noushka.

Thank you for taking time out to check out my blog. Not being the most productive sites for birds and other forms of wildlife, I like to bring them to the attention of those that might visit London.

Tony Duckett said...

Hi Birdman.

Without a wind from a southerly direction we will always struggle. Fingers crossed it will soon change, otherwise the migrants will sneak through and we will have to wait for the autumn.

birdman_euston said...

19 Apr: Showers overnight; low cloud with brisk, decreasing W wind but no rain this morning.

Willow Warbler 1: area 14.

Gadwall 1m: off Heron Island, area 8.

Shelduck 2 (the pair with the duck pinioned): area 36. (The second pair, the one with both birds free-flying, appears to have left the park in the last few days.)

Chiffchaff 6 males - the area 1 bird is still around after not having been heard for three days. (When in full song, he tends to accent the middle tone of his ascending, three-tone song, as in 'Loc LO-mond' - I'm nicknaming him 'Angus'.)
The territories of these six males are now well-established so here are the details [song parameters and nickname, if any, in square brackets] with the central area of each territory *asterisked*:

Areas *1* (Ambassador's gdn)<->2 [3-tone 'Angus']
Areas *14*<->13 [3-tone 'John']
Area *17* [2-tone 'Jason']
Areas *19*<->10 [3-tone 'Duane']
Areas 30<->*31*<->32<->33 [3-tone]
Areas *41*<->40 [4-tone 'Paul']

Would anyone like to nickname the male that hangs out in the Cricket Pen (area 31)?

I've learned that male Chiffchaffs don't vary the number of tones in their song but they *do* vary the tones' inflection, emphasis and sequence. (For example, Duane was slurring the highest tone this morning, whereas yesterday it was the lowest one.) In particular, it's difficult to recognise individual males by the *sequence* of tones in their song because this often varies from one repetition to the next.

As with the Blackcaps (females of which species are becoming ever more visible), for the Chiffchaffs I'll focus on new information from now on.

birdman_euston said...

20 Apr: Fair skies and light W breeze, but soggy underfoot after three days' rain.

Common Sandpiper 1: area 9 shoreline at 08.10 (chased briefly by parent Egyptian Goose).

Pied Wagtail 2 (m&f): area 9 shoreline at 08.12.

Swallow 1: area 9 at 08.10 (swooped low over the lake).

Willow Warbler 3+: areas 1, 24 and 41.

Gadwall 1m: off area 2.

As on 17 Apr, the singing male Chiffchaff in the Cricket Pen (area 31) was with a presumed female that was calling 'hooeet' and investigating (possible nest site?) under isolated gorse bush.

For the past few days a male Blackcap has been singing in a new location: Bandstand Island, area 7.

Male Kestrel sunning itself on perch in Wetland Pen, area 32.

Daffodils are almost finished blooming. The bright-orange Darwin's Barberry flowers are past their peak.

birdman_euston said...

20 Apr (part 2): A Chiffchaff that sounded like 'John' was singing in a new location atop the manicured hill in the English Gardens, area 22 at 08.50 (twenty minutes after I had heard him in his accustomed territory, areas 13&14).

Helen Speak said...

Birdman - I popped out briefly to area 14 this afternoon and heard 'John' interspersing his usual song with 'Angus''s song (or vice versa I suppose!) A female turned up and distracted him, whichever one it was!

birdman_euston said...

Helen, why am I not surprised that the Park's little colony of Chiffchaffs shamelessly 'sample' from one another? :)