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Friday, October 26, 2012

26th October

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Just to let you know that I am off to Lands End for a week. Before you say anything, know I have just come back from that end of the country. This time it’s a holiday for my wife, so not dawn to dusk birding. With luck I will see something of interest, although the forecast isn’t looking that promising. If you do see something of interest in any of the parks please let me know.

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       Purple Sandpipers at their high tide roost in Sennen Cove

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

23rd October

Regent’s Park

Today was one of those days when I wish I was still back in Regent’s Park. It also shows that luck can be a major factor when birding, but it shows that you should never completely switch off.

Red-breasted Merganser: an adult female was on the lake this afternoon. This was only the 3rd park record, the others being February records in 1968 and 1976.

Short-eared Owl: while Dave was waiting for me to get to the lake to see the merganser he noticed that the BH Gulls had taken to the air and were hassling a large bird. He was over the moon to see a slow flapping Short-eared heading his way. Not liking the attention from the gulls it did a couple of fast wing-beats, picked up speed and headed off SW at 2.30pm.

Lapwing: there were two reports today; one at 9.16am and then seven at 1.30pm.

Woodlark: one flew SW at 9.32am.

Redwing: 285 flew through.

Blackbird: fifty plus headed SW.

Bushy Park

Not that productive even with a slightly higher cloud base.

Skylark: two singles.

Meadow Pipit: 40+ in the bracken area in the SE of the park.

Fieldfare: thirty flew through in various directions.

Redwing: one-hundred and fifty plus headed mainly SW, some of them landing briefly before continuing on their way.

Mistle Thrush: twenty-eight around the park.

Song Thrush: forty birds mostly in the area of scrub by Dukes Head Passage.

Lesser Redpoll: two singles.

Siskin: ten birds feeding and preening by Dukes Head Passage before flying towards the Canal Plantation.

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Red-breasted Merganser female

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just to prove that it is fully-winged, not that there are any in the waterfowl collection.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

21st October

After having a bit of a lie in having heard the rain during the night I didn’t get into the park until 8.40am. My aim was to do look for diaurnal migrants. I had told my wife that I would be back soon, that is coffee at 10.00am. I possibly missed a few birds as I spoke to several people that haven’t seen me since the change in my role within the TRP.

Pink-footed Goose: 16 birds flew high eastwards at 8.55am and looked to be heading for the Thames Estuary.

Peregrine Falcon: a male was over the southern edge of the park.

Sparrowhawk: a male and female were seen soaring over Queen Mary’s Gardens and the Broadwalk.

Common Gull: at least 34 flew west in small groups.

Meadow Pipit: 36 flew SW.

Pied Wagtail: 3 flew east.

Ring Ouzel: a female flew in from the SW at 8.48am and appeared to come down in the Leaf yard Wood (area 40). She was followed by a male that flew slowly past me under tree top height (if only I had brought my camera) at 9.02am before landing in a Lime tree just east of the Old Golf/tennis School, area 39. This bird or another was seen a short time later by Birdman-euston feeding on Rowan berries.

Mistle Thrush: 16 birds flew NW

Redwing: 11 birds in one’s and two’s flew NW.

Song Thrush: 10 high flying single birds flew in a mainly northerly direction.

Chiffchaff: 2 were in area 39.

Goldfinch: 48 birds in 5 flocks flew SW.

Chaffinch: 60 in small flocks flew SW.

Siskin: 11 flew through.

Lesser Redpoll: 3 singles flew east.

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

17th October

Regent’s Park

Yellow Wagtail: two birds landed on the bank of Barrow Hill Reservoir this morning.

Redwing: six birds flew over.

Chiffchaff: two birds present.

Bushy Park

Grey Wagtail: one was on the dung heap in the paddocks this afternoon.

Chiffchaff: one was by the Iron Bridge on Dukes Head Passage.

Siskin: four flew north.

Lesser Redpoll: eight flew west.

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All these photos were taken in the paddocks

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

16th October

Regent’s Park

A fairly quiet day with little in the way of bird movement.

Skylark: one possibly flew north over the Hub this morning.

Little Owl: one was seen feeding in the Wetland Pen, a bird frequented this area earlier this year.

Richmond Park

European Wigeon: 48 were on Upper Pen Ponds.

Gadwall: 32 were present.

Pochard: 10 were present.

Tufted Duck: 8 were present.

Redwing: 2 singles flew through.

Stonechat: a pair were present in bracken east of Lower Pen Ponds.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

14th October

This is a slight alteration to Friday the 12ths hurried entry.

My thanks go to Birdman for keeping up his daily walks in the park. Looking at his reports, this area too was fairly quiet. The highlights being Marsh Harrier (9th) and Firecrest and Fieldfare (11th) 

I am back but only briefly from what was quite a rewarding but very hard working stay on the Isles of Scilly. The weather did it’s best to make life difficult with either rain or fog the first thing you saw when pulling back the curtains on most days. We did manage two fairly sunny days though, which meant that the coats you started the day in became something else to carry later in the day.

Overall species and bird numbers were fairly low, this was due to the banks of clouds that stopped birds from the east venturing in our direction and the same applies to a degree for the hoped for megas from America.

The Highlights were; Buff-breasted Sandpiper, American Golden Plover, Dotterel (ridiculously tame), Grey-Cheeked Thrush, Sykes’s Warbler, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Red Breasted Bunting, Rosy Starling and Ortolan Bunting.

A few memories from the trip are below:

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Home for the week was the lefthand half of the loft conversion, the views east were sometimes quite spectacular.

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Dawn over the harbour (above) and the sun comes out at the end of the day (below).

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Looking back across the harbour towards a mist covered Garrison

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2 very different days on the islands

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The Buff-breasted Sandpiper and the Curlew Sandpiper were seen at a stop off at Davidstow Airfield (disused wartime airfield) on the way down.

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Ortolan Bunting in a garden by Porthcressa Beach

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Red-breasted Flycatcher

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Western Bonelli’s Warbler

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Dotterel

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Buff-breasted Sandpiper

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Yellow-browed Warbler

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Greenshank

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This snipe matches all the same plumage characteristics of the Wilson’s Snipe that my friend's and I have seen on the islands it just wouldn’t show it’s underwing or tail feather that would have clinched it’s identification. We are confident that it was a Wilson’s Snipe, look at the differences below.

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Sykes’s Warbler

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Richard’s Pipit

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American Golden Plover on a misty airport runway

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The sun came out the following day

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This Curlew Sandpiper was a surprise to those birders looking at the plover.

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Wryneck (slightly distant)

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This Jack Snipe turned up on Lower Moors on our last day.

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I had to pop up to Norfolk over the weekend to visit my mother in-law. It allowed me to pop out for a couple of hours both mornings to do some sea watching at Cley and Sheringham. Yesterday was the quieter with good numbers of Gannets, Razorbills, Guillemots, Red throated Divers and a Black throated Diver. Today was much better, with 1 Manx Shearwater, 7 Great Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas, 30 Little Gulls, 7 Little Auks, 4 Puffins and 60 R T Divers.

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