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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

30th April

Regent’s Park

Peregrine Falcon: a male was patrolling high over the lake this afternoon.

Common Tern: 3 were displaying over the lake early this morning.

House Martin: 4 birds were over the lake this afternoon.

Reed Warbler: 2 males one by Hanover Bridge, area 2 and another in the Wetland Pen, area 32.

Stock Dove: 28 birds were feeding in my garden this afternoon.

Bushy Park

Common Buzzard: 2 very high birds flew north east at 1.00pm.

Swallow: 12 were chasing each other around the stock yard.

Sand Martin: a pair were over the scrape.

Blackcap: 8 males along the Longford River or close by.

Lesser Whitethroat: 1 singing 200 metres south of the Iron Bridge.

Common Whitethroat: 9 birds on the western side of the Longford River, 6 were males.

Chiffchaff: 7 birds, 4 males.

It has been 6 days since I last took some photos of the family by area 7, The Bandstand Island. The have grown considerably but are still not quite big enough to be totally safe from being on a gulls menu.

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I witnessed some strange behaviour after the male had fed a chick. Though sitting on the nest isn’t unusual having the female try to mount him is slightly weird and must have surely surprised the young. Well saying that may be not, as you can see in the top photo they were displaying to each other.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

27th April

I have not really had much time to bird this weekend having been looking up in Norfolk looking at a house we hope to buy. I did get out for a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday morning my targets were Ring Ouzel and Dotterel. When my kids were much much younger and we stayed at my in-laws house I stumbled across these species particularly Ring Ouzels most Aprils, even finding them in their garden. Dotterel were slightly harder to find but I have found several small trips of this species in fields alongside the coast road from Sea Palling to Horsey Corner. After lots of scanning on Saturday morning my only encounter with a Ring Ouzel came when took off from a gateway to a bungalow along a green lane near Happisburgh. I had great rear views but she then banked and flew to a hedge on the far side of a field. She was to distant for even a record shot but it is good to know that this area still attracts them. My search for a Dotterel drew a blank, even though birds were found on the west side of Norfolk.

I had a heart stopping phone call on Saturday morning from a friend telling me that an Alpine Accentor had been seen at Holme Bird Observatory. That was almost a 2 hour drive away and I had a house to look at.  I new that the birds location could make viewing it with possibly hundred or so birders would be difficult, so I decided not to travel. Luckily for me the bird was only seen by one person, before disappearing never to be seen again. Well not yet anyway.

I was only able to take a handful of photos at not particularly close quarters.

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A male Marsh Harriers chases a crow from what look like a Chinese Water Deer carcass.

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Sand Martins dig out new nest chambers on the fragile sandstone cliffs between Happisburgh and Eccles on Sea

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Whimbrel seemed to in many of the coastal grassland fields, other birds could be seen coming in off the sea.

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Wheatears were also plentiful.

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Yellow Hammer were once quite plentiful along this stretch of coast but no longer. Corn Bunting could also be found here, but I haven’t seen or heard one for many years.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

24th April

Regent’s Park

A red letter day in this and Bushy Park today

Osprey: a bird flew high northwards at 8.20am.

Grey Wagtail: a bird flew towards the Mosque carrying food, so there could be 2 pairs breeding near the park.

Sandwich Tern: a single bird flew north at mid-day.

Swallow: 20 birds passed through.

House Martin: 6 were over the lake.

Lesser Whitethroat: a bird was sing from inside the Cricket Pen, area 30 this morning.

Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs: The former can be heard in most areas with enough cover. There seemed to be a few more Chiffchaffs around this afternoon.

Bushy Park

Short-tailed Hawk: one very high bird was thermaling high above Round Plantation before carrying on NW.

Arctic Tern: two birds flew SW over the Woodland Gardens at 9.30am, these really are clean looking elegant birds.

Kingfisher: one flew along the Longford River towards Brick Bridge.

Yellow Wagtail: one flew over the Brewhouse Meadow.

Common Whitethroat: 3 males and 2 females were present.

Willow Warbler: one was singing from the Round Plantation.

Blackcap and Chiffchaffs: present in good numbers`

Reed Bunting: 2 pairs were in the Brewhouse Meadow area.

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Short-tailed Hawk

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Hopefully the Skylarks in Bushy Park will soon be on eggs, if some aren’t already.

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The family at the eastern end of the Bandstand Island, area 7 are still steadily growing, though they are still not quite big enough to feature on the gulls menu.

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The male would break away from parental duties to confront a pair that are trying to build a nest further along the western edge.

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The two rival males

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I do not normally take Coot photos, I was just hoping a gull was going to swoop down and take it.

 

 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

21st April

Regent’s Park

Hobby: one flew north at 10.40am.

Sparrowhawk: 2 males flew high north.

Stock Dove: 23 were feeding in my garden this afternoon.

Swallow: 6 flew low north over the Open spaces.

House Martin: A pair were over the lake.

Linnet: 2 flew west at 8.20am.

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