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Thursday, April 26, 2012

25th April

Regent’s Park

Tawny Owlet: one was rescued from being attacked by crows just outside area 32. It had probably come from Queen Mary’s as that is where we believe but they breed.

Northern Wheatear: 1 female and 3 male Greenland race birds.

Common Whitethroat: male still present in area 31.

Reed Bunting: pair in area 32. 

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Dave will release the bird when it gets dark.

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This photo shows that one of his snacks managed to avoid being swallowed

 

Bushy Park

Common Tern: 2 birds flew towards the Thames.

Swift: 2 singles flew through.

Swallow: 6 birds seen, most were migrants.

Sand Martin: 2 were feeding over the Heron Pond.

Northern Wheatear: 3 birds were south of Upper Lodge Road.

Stonechat: a female was near Heron Pond.

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7 comments:

Helen Speak said...

Funny moment today - my strange mind had been trying to make ver obvious herring gulls into egrets for some reason all morning. About 2pm I was sat near the bandstand when I looked up and saw an actual little egret blowing over the park! I thought I was imagining it at first :)

Tony Duckett said...

Helen

I am surprised we do not see more Egrets over or stopping off in the park. But a great spot.

Helen Speak said...

Maybe there'll be more with the new shallow lake edges? :)

birdman_euston said...

Great photos of the female wheatear and stonechat, Tony. I'm reasonably confident that the two female wheatears I saw (today and Tuesday) were the Greenland race. Both were alike: a rich apricot underneath, and brownish above apart from the rump and flight feathers.

birdman_euston said...

27 Apr: One of the warmest early mornings this Spring (9-10C at dawn, despite being only partly cloudy). Moderate SSW wind.

Common Redstart 1f (in gorse between area 34 and Open Spaces, area 37, at 07.48).
A lifer, and my best Park bird since the Lapwing on 14 March. Also, a reward for the ad-hoc strategy of blitzing the best areas in the Park as soon as the fast-moving clouds suddenly parted to reveal a horizon-to-horizon patch of blue around 07.15 - I figured if the skulking, migrant dicky-birds of the UK were ever minded to 'see and be seen', this was the time, after three days of often-torrential rain! As I approached the gorse where Tony had his male Stonechat on 13 March, a bird popped up from and then dived down into the back of the tallest bush. I advanced a few feet, scanned the bush again and - bingo! - half a minute after I had first spotted it, the bird showed beautifully on a low branch in front - it must have been as sun-starved as I was! It repeatedly quivered its tail rapidly up and down; I'm sure that has to do with showing off its reddish-orange outer tail feathers - its showy manner of tail-wagging reminded me of a certain New World flycatcher, the Eastern Phoebe, which has white outer tail feathers to display. (Half an hour after seeing the redstart, it was raining again! All in all, it was a salutory lesson in British birding: for maximum results in this cool, wet climate, one must strike while the iron is 'hot' :)

Reed Bunting 1m [singing from reed bed in Wetland Pen, area 32, at 07.30 - Dave saw the pair of them earlier this morning in the male's favourite 'singing' shrub, which he tells me is called Cotoneaster (the generic name), which flowers in June and produces red berries later in the year].

At 06.38 I heard 'Paul', the Chiffchaff that favours the Leaf Yard Wood (areas 40 & 41), singing from area 42 - as far SW as I've ever heard him and close to 'Angus's old stomping grounds in the Winfield House garden, area 1. So, I immediately went 'round to area 45 where I had heard Angus singing for the first time last week and at 06.49 there he was behind the temporary Flying Trapeze School, singing 'Loch LO-mond' lustily above the din of traffic. I can only assume that the ground-nesting habitat in area 45 is more to Angus' liking than that in area 1- and he must be developing a fine set of lungs to compete with all the noise!

Shelduck 4 (the free-flying pair is still around, today seen landing at 07.10 on the grassy summit of Hanover Island, area 1, to successfully play 'King of the Mountain' with one of the winged pairs resident there; the pair with the free-flying drake and winged duck was roosting in area 36 at 07.20).

Willow Warbler 2 (areas 24 and 41).

Family of Red-crested Pochards (duck and 9 newly-hatched ducklings) on children's boating pond in area 3.

Large plane trees, 'Norway' maples and 'white' oaks are leafing out in area 40. California lilac's deep-blue flowers are in full bloom.

The mudflat for the reed-bed extension in area 2 is now fully underwater, due to all the rain this week raising the lake level.

Tony Duckett said...

Birdman.

Well done and although I had a quick look for the bird I have just heard that it is on area 36.

birdman_euston said...

Great, Tony! I'm glad someone else got to share the discovery.