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Monday, March 18, 2013

18th March

The forecast I saw on the Beeb at 5.25am said it was going to be sunny, well that’s a joke. The morning in Bushy Park started damp and drizzly before we had glimpses of the sun before the heavy band of rain arrived at 12.50pm. I do hate it when Dave (from Regent’s Pk) phones, it is normally bird news and something that I have to hope will remain until 3.30pm, the time that I get back there. He phoned this morning at 8.00am with an unusual record (see below).

Regent’s Park

Shelduck: five birds on the lake.

Tawny Owl: one was in the Leaf Yard Wood, area 41 at 7.10am. The pair in this area moved nest locations a few years back and we are unsure if they have bred successfully for several years.

Red-legged Partridge: this was something that the finder didn’t expect to see on this piece of non arable land. This is the second park record, the last being a bird that was seen walking around the Outer Circle. It is impossible to say whether it is one from outside London or an escapee from someone's aviary.

Water Rail: still present in area 2. It will be interesting to see how long it stays a once the boats are on hire again. The larger area of reeds might make it feel a little safer.

Blackcap: a male was singing by the entrance to Primrose Hill.  It is still slightly early for genuine migrants to reach us and is more likely to be an over-wintering bird.

Siskin: still a few birds knocking around the NE end of the lake.

Bushy Park

Not much chance to bird. On the bright side and we need some brightness Skylarks were in good voice near Upper Lodge Road and in the south-east corner of the park.


Grey Heron on the lookout for an amphibian brekki


Not surprisingly it is a one-sided  contest.




Then you digest it.


birdman_euston said...

Yes, Dave mentioned that China has a tradition of keeping partridges but I see the species is on the Hyde Park list - when was our first one seen, Tony?

birdman_euston said...

While I think of it, is there a current Park list published anywhere?

birdman_euston said...

Btw, for sake of argument: what did Red-legged Partridges do before Homo sapiens discovered agriculture? :)

birdman_euston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
birdman_euston said...

1) there's a large patch of bare earth on the hillside that could have attracted it iinitially;
2) the same escapee/farmland arguments could be raised about the similarly non-native Pheasant, which is on both Park lists; and finally,
3) I had last November's Bullfinch, my second-best bird so far, in the same spot and I've long suspected there's a flyway 'funnel' over that part of the Park for birds on passage - which might partly explain why there's a pair of Sparrowhawks nesting there!

glen said...

red legged ....blimey

Tony Duckett said...

There is no official park list. Having been a birder for almost as long as I have been able to talk and with a good knowledge of UK and some European birds I feel confident that the list that I have is the correct park list.

Red legs are a bird of grasslands and scrub and arid areas, not parkland, unless it surrounded by the fore-mentioned.

It would have had to be flying at low level to see a patch of soil. The pheasant would fit in the same category as a bird of unknown origin.

There is a flight-line that birds possibly follow that links the larger areas of green space and water on a line SW to NE. The only reason that I haven't included the previous bird from my list was it slipped off the radar while editing.

It is up to you if you what you how you class it. It is a Red-legged Partridge and an interesting record.

birdman_euston said...

One other possibility, Tony, is that the Red-legged Partridge (like the Bullfinch last autumn?) was grounded/spooked by the nesting Sparrowhawks nearby and decided to 'grab a bite'. When was that earlier record again? And yes, I'm counting this one for the patch list. :)

Tony Duckett said...

I had a quick look on my old reports but didn't spot it. I will try again sometime, if I find it I will let you know. Of course it is a patch tick, we have Pelican on ours. The St James's bird flies around occasionally. We have also seen Alpine Swift from Primrose Hill, that was present on Hampstead Heath for a few days.

birdman_euston said...

Thanks for the update, Tony - another incentive for 'running up that Hill' :)