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Sunday, April 29, 2012

29th April

Regent’s Park

Yesterdays rain continued, with the appeal of going birding not that high. However I decided to go and have a look at the lake, followed by a skywatch from just west of the Broadwalk, near area 28. This is quite a good location as it is the highest point in the park and allows good viewing to the south and south-west. It failed to produce much this time, but it has done so in the past.

Tawny Owl: Dave was up at 5.30am as he was worried about the 2 owlets. His worries were spot on as both birds were soaking wet and on the floor. He decided it would be best to take them home and dry them out before bringing them back later in the day, once the rain had moved off the scene.

Peregrine Falcon: a male spent 10 minutes trying  secure a meal, before leaving disappointed.

House Martin: around 36 birds were over the lake.

Swallow: 6 birds were also over the lake.



birdman_euston said...

Sun 29 Apr: I popped down to the park once the driving rain of the past two days had stopped (around 14.00) and the wind started veering from the NE to the E, and eventually SSE. I'll stick my neck out and say there should be a significant number and variety of new migrants in the park tomorrow!

Northern Wheatear (Greenland race) 1m: SW end of Open Spaces, area 37 between areas 2 and 36 at 14.40.
This was my first *male* Wheatear ever, identified from photos I had studied earlier as the Greenland race by its rich apricot underparts and the brownish cast to its grey upperparts. It was feeding in a large, rectangular, temporary enclosure, the one marked out by a cherrywood picket fence. This is the largest 'protected' open-field habitat available in the park so I recommend checking it out as a last resort when the Cricket Squares are crawling with people - the Wheatear was still feeding unconcernedly 90 minutes later, even as another park visitor leaned over the fence to get a better look at it.

House Martin 2: area 2, flying above treetop level near the lake at 15.10. (This is my first sighting of this species this year - late, I know, but there aren't many flying insects above the lake first thing in the morning when I normally visit.)

Sparrowhawk 1m: area 41, soaring overhead.

birdman_euston said...

Mon 30 Apr: For migrant birds today was, in golfers' parlance, "moving day" as they took advantage of clear skies, warm temperatures and a brisk SE wind to give Regent's Park a miss. For example, early this morning Dave had a migrant flock of 15 Common Terns flying high overhead (discovered only because he heard them calling first), and not a single Willow Warbler had been heard or seen by either of us as of 9am.

Peregrine Falcon 1: low over area 41 at 06.40, flying slowly (by Peregrine standards) southwards. (My first Peregrine in Europe.)

Yellow-legged Gull 1ad: on lake fencepost off area 9, it had greenish-yellow legs and, conveniently, was standing near an adult Herring Gull with flesh-coloured legs.

One shudders to think how many nests were flooded by the wet weather over the past week, and especially the last two days. Ground-nesting Chiffchaffs would have been particularly hard-hit: I neither heard 'Duane' singing, nor its mate calling, in area 13/14 this morning but 'Jason' was singing in a new location, the wildlife garden enclosure in area 20 at 08.30, having been heard in its accustomed area 17 twenty minutes earlier. (I'm not surprised that Jason is moving around, as area 17 is surely too well manicured to provide suitable nesting sites.)

Oh, dear: over the weekend, Dave watched as Herring Gulls picking off Friday's nine newly-hatched Red-crested Pochard ducklings one by one, and by this morning there was only one left - but at least the drake was helping the duck to guard it.