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Monday, May 07, 2012

7th May

Regent’s Park

I was in the park by 6.15am hoping that the wind would have swung around to a more southerly direction overnight. No such luck it was NE according to the arrow on the London Zoo’s main building. At least the weather was brightening up, the main cloud was off to the west of London. After checking the main migrant hotspots, it became clear that nothing much had arrived. After 3 hours in the park I did manage a couple of firsts for the year.

Common Shelduck: the pair are still present.

Common Sandpiper: one flew from the eastern bank of Heron Island, area 8 and around to the other side. However I couldn’t locate it 40 minutes later when I had moved around to that side of the lake.

Yellow-legged Gull: an adult was on the lake, though distant.

Common Tern: the pair were present, with the male bird looking to grab some bread from people feeding the birds on the lake.

Collared Dove: one flew east over the lake.

Cuckoo: one flew through the goose pen heading NW at 7.20am.

Swift: 4 birds were above my house mid morning.

Swallow: 2 birds were feeding over the lake.

House Martin: 2 birds from the Park Road colony were present.

Reed Warbler: 3 males were singing from areas 2, 5 and 31.

Jackdaw: 4 birds flew south at 7.40am.

Reed Bunting: the male was singing in the Wetland Pen.


One of 2 Mute Swans that arrived this morning, there is bound to be aggro from our resident swans.



High flying Great crested Grebe



Red crested Pochard ducks are still be pursued by drakes.


Yellow-legged Gull


Common Tern


Chaos at breakfast


Green Woodpecker by the Bandstand




Reed Bunting in the Wetland Pen




birdman_euston said...

7 [sic] May: Nothing to add to Tony's sightings from the morning; the wind switched to the south as the warm front arrived around 09.00, and there was a period of rain around noon. Accordingly, I popped down to the park in the evening and saw 10 House Martins, 2 Swifts and 1 Swallow feeding over the lake above treetop level at 19.30, an hour before sunset. I then spotted an adult Tawny Owl 4m up in the evergreen Holme Oak at the SE corner of Leaf Yard Wood (where the iron 'picket' fence meets the high chain-link fence) at 19.55. The bird is very tame, and the 'local' tells me he often sees one in another large tree outside the fence in the same area, always within half an hour before sunset. Best close-up view of a wild owl I've ever had!

Red campion blooming in open, unmown areas. Bleeding Heart blooming on the hill in the English Gardens, area 22. 'Viburnum plicatum' shrub, native to SE Asia, in bloom at Chester Gate, area 22: this species has flat-topped flower clusters with showy-white, sterile outer florets, a classic ploy in the plant word to attract night-flying moths (or any butterflies that like white flowers) to the 'landing pad' where the fertile but inconspicuous central flowers are waiting to be pollinated. (Surprisingly, the fertile ones have yet to open but maybe the moths have to be 'trained' in advance to visit - or the exotic, London locale has messed up the shrub's timing!)

birdman_euston said...

8 May: At daybreak (05.19) it was fairly warm (11C) and muggy with light S breeze and overnight showers ending. The migrants kept me waiting two hours till 07.25, when the sun broke through, before finally appearing.

Spotted Flycatcher 3: one high in plane tree in area 2 at 08.30; meanwhile two more were appearing for Dave in the Cricket Pen, area 31. [Dave says the appearance of this species in numbers means that the end of spring migration is in sight (sob). He also said there should be Garden Warblers around...]

Garden Warbler 1: SE edge of Leaf Yard Wood just S of Holm Oak, area 41, at 09.10.

Common Whitethroat 8: pair (male singing) in area 34 gorse then both flying back to Cricket Pen at 06.10, female in area 14 at 07.25, pair near feeder in Leaf Yard Wood at 09.15, female in area 40 at 09.55, pair on Primrose Hill reservoir, area 48 at 10.20.

Willow Warbler 1: area 48 at 10.20.

Reed Warbler 3: areas 2, 13 (noted by Dave near York Bridge) and 32.

Common Tern 2: pair roosting on area 2 shoreline at 07.55 before flying off.

Male Kestrel flying S over area 34, carrying food to area 32 nest at 06.00.

Pair of Greylag Geese with 1-2 week old gosling near Bandstand, area 11 at 06.50; later seen swimming toward York Bridge, area 13 at 07.30.

Female Red-crested Pochard with six ducklings at SE end of lake, area 14 at 07.10.

birdman_euston said...

8 May (part 2): The wonders of the internet: half an hour after Tony posted today's update (having missed Dave's voicemail, I had another lifer. The female Whinchat was still perched (on top of what must surely be the single most valuable bush in central London, the Hallowed Gorse of area 34), watching the corporate footie matches. Thanks for the timely update, Tony!