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Saturday, January 25, 2014

25th January

Regent’s Park

I didn’t have much time to bird the park this Saturday only a few minutes while my wife was having her hair cut down Baker Street. For that reason I spent the time watching the Great crested Grebes nest building on the Bandstand Island.

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The male starts of with some light weight nesting material.

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Then moves on to something a little to heavy.

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He then tries something more manageable.

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Before returning for another go at this, unfortunately he had built the nest on the other end.

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He must be joking!

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It is now time for some lunch.

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A recent article published recently stated that this species doesn’t have an affect on our native woodland hole nesting species. For that to be the case you need a large area of mature woodland with plenty of wholes and cavities for birds to nest in. If you happen to bird an area of woodland or parkland with very few opportunities for whole nesters and this species turn up you can say goodbye to the likes of Nuthatches, Lesser spotted Woodpeckers, Starlings and many more. These birds are just to inquisitive.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

23rd January

Bushy Park

Fieldfare: two small flocks were in the park today, 12 near Hampton Hill Cricket Club and 18 by Hawthorn Cottage.

Redwing: birds were feeding on the ground in several of the plantations.

Chiffchaff: one by the river near River Lodge.

Siskin: 18 were in the Woodland Gardens.

Regent’s Park

I called in on the way home for few minutes. Trouble with that time of day, even though the sun was out it was to low in the sky. This meant that the nearby terrace was casting a shadow over much of the water by the Bandstand Island.

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Even though it’s not as big a Canada Goose this male took on a pair that came to close to it’s nest.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

20th January

Nothing much to report from Bushy Park apart from;

Gadwall: at least 50 on Heron Pond.

Common Buzzard: a bird flew high in the direction of Richmond Pk at 12.20pm.

Chiffchaff: one was on the Longford River close to Dukes Head Passage.

I had to check on a couple of areas of the Longford River near Heathrow this morning which gave me the chance to have my lunch break at Staines Reservoir. It wasn’t exactly overflowing with waterfowl but there were a couple of species that I sometimes don’t make the effort to see every year.

Goldeneye: 35 were present, some were in the air but flew back to King George VI.

Smew: a pair were on the south basin but distant

Black-necked Grebe: also a pair on the south basin.

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When I used to visit this site back in the early seventies the planes appeared much further away. Now it looks as if the runway is right by the reservoir, which it isn’t yet. A flock of Lapwings were on the bank and weren’t concerned by a couple of Foxes that were walking around the embankment. They were spooked however by a high flying Sparrowhawk. It gave me the chance to count them 111 (not all in the photo).

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The trouble with looking at birds on the South Basin is the light can be awful.

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I called into Regent’s Pk on the way home. Habitat work had been going on Heron Island today causing most of the waterfowl and Herons that use to find another loafing area. This meant that they were to distant for photos but the light was just about good enough for a couple of photos before heading off home.

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Three pairs of Stock Doves were displaying over the lake.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

19th January

Regent’s Park

Almost the same as last weekend, maybe a few more Redwings, Goldcrests singing in a couple of locations, the Tawny Owl was still on show. Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk were in the Wetland Pen.

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Getting up and close to Herons is really easy in the parks. What does annoy me and does the Herons no favours is people who believe that it is okay to feed them. I can just about understand why those who do not really understand bird and animal behaviour. However those who do it to get up close and personal just to get a great photo opportunity should stop it. Herons do not normally nest where there main food supply is but where it is safest for them. The parks Heronry is the same naturally the birds would look else where for food i.e the Thames, Brent Reservoir, goldfish ponds etc. Feeding them in the park makes them lazy and as the food the are mostly given doesn’t consist much of their normal  diet I suggest that it shouldn’t be done. It is not as if it is cold and the waterbodies are frozen over.  The wrong diet causes bone and joint problems and is possible why so many Coots (common in the parks) have problems walking.

The site below is not one that is often witnessed in the countryside and is only brought about by the birds squabbling over food.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

14th January

Richmond Park & Regent’s Park

Not much to report, I had a few minutes before a meeting this morning so I popped down to Pen Ponds.

Little Grebe: one being hassled by the Coots.

Redwing: 28 flew towards Sidmouth Wood.

Siskin: 8 were briefly in Silver Birches by Pen Ponds Plantation.

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I really love the bright green eye of the Cormorant

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The Police were on hand just in case this skirmish got out of hand, two against one isn’t that fair.

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Not such good views as in Regent’s Park, the Herons on Pen Ponds are busy adding to last years nest.

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As the sun was out, on the way home from work I popped into Regent’s Pk to a look at the owl.

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