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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

16th May

The last few days have been very quiet and unless the winds turn to a more favourable direction spring migration is over. In most years most summer visitors will be in the UK by the 20th May, after which we only see the odd migrant. Though it could be something as exciting as a Honey Buzzard or even a Red-footed Falcon. I have seen the latter once over Regent’s Park.

Richmond Park

I spent today in Richmond Park meeting the volunteers that will be taking on the neck braking job of looking for Oak Processionary Moth caterpillars ( nasty alien species from Europe) . The wet weather has put them back a couple of weeks so finding them at the moment is very hard and takes an experienced eye. Lucky we have that in the shape of the Richmond Park Gamekeepers. They found some that we were able to go outside and look at. For that reason I wasn’t able to bird the park at lunchtime, making do with a quick look at Pen Ponds this morning.

Common Tern: a pair chased off another bird that dropped down over the lake.

Barn Swallow: Up to fifty birds had appeared to have roosted in trees on the bank of the lake.

House Martin: one bird had roosted with the swallows.

Reed Bunting: males were singing from several locations near the lake.



Not the typical location for a Canada Goose






Oak Processionary Caterpillars


birdman_euston said...

18 May: As the winds were from the SE and E yesterday (although they brought no rain), I did a full circuit of the park this morning but still no migrants observed.

Reed Warbler 4: singing males in areas 2, 5 (two birds) and 13 (yes, the reed bed in the latter area still has a bird on territory). However, I heard no males in areas 32 (Wetland Pen) and 34.

Grey Wagtail 1m: feeding along the 'concrete lakeshore' opposite the reed bed in area 13 at 06:05.

Reed Bunting 1m: seen at the NE end of the area-5 reed bed at 07.00.

No Whitethroats encountered anywhere, alas; the only birds of note in the Cricket Pen, area 31 were a pair of Coal Tits feeding three fledged youngsters in the silver birches.

Broom (shrub) has been in bloom on the island in the area-35 waterfowl sanctuary for about 2 weeks. Chilean potato 'tree', Solarum crispum 'Glasnevin', now blooming on Hanover Island, area 1; green alkanet has been flowering there for over a week. Cottonwood trees are leafing out (copper-coloured, triangular leaves) in both area 1 near the Open Spaces and at the North end of the Cricket Squares, area 37, bordering London Zoo. Garlic mustard blooming in area 40.

Tony Duckett said...


Thanks for the info. The Whitethroats in the Cricket Pen went quiet last year after building a nest. In fact when the young were being fed, the only bird I saw for over a week was the female.So he/they could still be present.

By the way do you know if there is a pair of Great crested Grebes nesting around the York Bridge Road end of the lake (area 13 & 14)?

birdman_euston said...


I woudn't be surprised if the female Reed Bunting is incubating eggs in the area where I saw the male on Friday. In the past couple of weeks, I've seen the pair acting agitated in this location on more than one occasion; each time, I've left them in peace.

I haven't noticed any grebes on nests in the York Bridge area but on the other hand, I haven't examined in its entirety the shoreline of the island in area 13. I'll do that the next time I walk past.