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Monday, October 01, 2012

1st October

Not much to report today apart from the fact that tomorrow I will be heading down to Cornwall with my friend Mark where from the following day we will be flying over to the Isles of Scilly. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us and the birds also.

Will we see:

Copy of Scillies 2005 032



will it be another Wilson’s Snipe


or will we get lucky and have a lifer.


That is the great thing about these islands you just never know. It can be a very tiring if you are someone who likes to bird, by that I mean get out and find your own birds.

If you should see something of interest in the park in my absence please leave a short notice in the comments box but keep it short. All I need is name date, time, location or direction the bird(s) went. I will be back on 14th.


Bill D said...

Good luck on Scilly. I'll be heading down on Friday so be sure to find me something good!


birdman_euston said...

6 Oct:

2 Jackdaw over SW 08:05, c15 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, no hirundines seen all morning.

birdman_euston said...

8 Oct:
E breeze all morning, with warm front and heavy rain arriving from S by 09:40.

2 Jackdaw over SW 08:55, 2 Redwing (one flew NW from trees bordering Rose Garden, area 17 at 07:55; one feeding in rowans E of Old Golf School wildlife pen, area 39 at 09:40), 3 Lesser Redpoll (feeding on seed heads near Chat Bush, area 41 at 08:40), 3 Meadow Pipit over S 07:35, 3 Pied Wagtail (on café level of The Hub, area 37 at 07:20), 1 Blackcap (Barrow Hill Reservoir thicket, area 48), 4 Chiffchaff.

birdman_euston said...

9 Oct:
E breeze again but cooler than yesterday without the rain; by 09:00 most of the early mist and cloud had evaporated.

♂ Marsh Harrier SE past Primrose Hill lookout 07:40, 11 Redwing (ten over NE 07:30; another one dropped into grounds of Winfield House, area 1), 1 Pied Wagtail, 4 Chiffchaff.

The Marsh Harrier flew by just E of me, leisurely trailed by two crows less than half its length. I was stuck by how much larger than a Hen Harrier (called Northern Harrier in North America) it was, with slower, more laboured wingbeats. Easily identified as a harrier by its long, relatively narrow wings and tail and its veering flight pattern. A lifer...

birdman_euston said...

11 Oct:
Stronger E wind than the last two days. Clouding over at dawn, but steady light rain not arriving till 11:30.

1 ♂ Firecrest (NW side of Rose Wheel, area 17 and Mediterranean Border of Queen Mary's Gardens, area 18 from 10:10; calling but elusive), 4 Goldcrest, 1 Fieldfare (first I've seen feeding in the Park this autumn, in rowans W of Old Golf Course wildlife pen, area 39 before 08:00), 5 Redwing (also in rowans), 3 'alba' Wagtail, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 3 Shoveler.

The Firecrest was first spotted gracing the same holly tree in which another observer discovered a ring ouzel on 28 September. A lifer! (In North America, the Firecrest's counterpart - in appearance if not by habitat - is called, confusingly, the 'Golden'-crowned Kinglet even though the male has an 'orange' crown-stripe like that of the male Firecrest; the species that looks most like the Goldcrest over there is the 'Ruby'-crowned Kinglet - which rarely displays its crown-patch.)

The Fieldfare, another first for me, later perched atop the tallest wildlife-pen lime tree (where I had Common Redstart and Pied Flycatcher simultaneously on 30 August - a pattern seems to be developing here)! Conveniently, a Redwing was perched on the next branch for easy comparison: the Redwing was smaller than a blackbird with a proportionally much shorter tail; the Fieldfare, the opposite. Alongside their relative tail lengths, the most striking difference between them (as seen from below across the pen in dull light) was the breast pattern: the Redwing had a conspicuous, narrowing, vertical clean-white stripe up the middle of the breast giving an 'open-waistcoat' effect, while the Fieldfare had an attractive, unbroken, horizontal orangey-buff wash across its heavily-spotted chest, contrasting markedly with its slate-grey head. Even more conveniently, a dogwalker then flushed the two so I could compare them in flight as they departed NW over Holford Field, the Fieldfare in the lead: the Redwing had regular, more rapid wingbeats and a direct flight; the Fieldfare's wingbeats were more intermittent creating a slightly undulating flight-pattern, and in addition it gave a series of low, guttural, hollow-sounding "chuck-chuck-chuck" calls. Another 'jinx' bird nixed!

Tony Duckett said...

Hi Birdman, that is a couple of good birds. But as I said before heading west please keep it short.



birdman_euston said...

Forgive me, Tony. They were both lifers so the extra detail was meant for the sceptics (present company excluded)! They will have to take my sightings at face value from now on, which means that when I get my first Siskin (the next jinx bird on my list), I promise not to wax lyrical about it! :)