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Friday, August 22, 2014

22nd August

Richmond Park

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More of todays sunrise which didn’t last very long below

Common Buzzard: one flew high SW at 12.00pm.

Whimbrel: I had a phone call from Jan Wilczur to say that a friend of his had seen a flock of high flying waders that may be this species heading towards the park. At first I thought there was no way I was going to see them as I was in the yard at Holly Lodge and I wasn’t sure what line they were on. Then I thought it was worth a gamble, grabbed my bins from the car and ran to the nearest open area, which was the paddocks. Jan mentioned that the birds had flown past the Wetland Centre. I looked in that general direction but how long was it since they went past there, god knows. I then picked up a very distant flock of birds in the the direction of Richmond Park Golf Course heading sort of on a line that would bring them reasonably close to me. I then tried to call Jan to say that I had the flock but couldn’t ID them at that distance but they were heading our way thinking he was in the park (I later found out he wasn’t). I then rushed back to my car to get my camera. I soon picked them up again they had moved much closer, then sods law they began to veer more on the line of Pen Ponds. I fired of  a few frames then set about identifying them which was easy enough. The size and shape, short straightish bill curved at the end and rapid wingbeat meant they were Whimbrel.

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Whimbrel in arrow formation

Swift: one flew through as I watched the egret.

Northern Wheatear: 2 were on the flying field.

Whinchat: 2 were with the wheatears.

Common Redstart: the female was again in the paddock area. First thing it was along the fence line at the top before moving to the small unused paddock. By 9.00am it had moved to the fence that runs along the bottom. It was still there at 1.00pm.

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There were still a few Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers around, though fewer than in recent days.

I also had an earlier phonecall from our Gamekeeper to sat that a Little Egret had landed in the long grass by the Beverley Brook near Roehampton Gate. I said that I could see where he was and would be there shortly.

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The egret noticed a high flying Sparrowhawk

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I don’t normally take deer photos but while I was supervising OPM nest removals took these.

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Stag shedding velvet in the early morning sun and a buck a few hours later.

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