Monday, 23 January 2012

East Park in January

 I've been to East Park a couple of times this month, the second time was today, and I was intent on seeing the pair of Ring-Necked Parakeets which are now roaming wild in the park. We heard their calls but couldn't locate them. Still, it was a great day out as the wind had eased and it was sunny. Several flocks of Greylag were grazing as we arrived, keeping an eye for loose dogs (above). An early Treecreeper near the playground was a bonus, and the Goosander flock did not disappoint, mixed with many Pochards and Tufted Ducks near the island by the bridge.
 We became acquainted with a hybrid goose I spotted last time. It does not seem to have a partner and the other Canada Geese are hostile towards him/her. It is quite small and delicate, I wonder if it is a young of last year. There are Greylags in the park with obvious domestic ancestry (white patches). In the past (late 1990s) there were Chinese Swan Geese in the park and hybrids with Greylags but there are no traces of them now.
 Photos from today unless stated.
 Herring gull pair
Hybrid goose
Have you got any peanuts?
Bathing swan (photo 8/01/12) 
Male pochard (24/02/11)
Male Goosander (14/02/10)
Female Goosander (photo 14/2/10)

East Park

Species (number of visits) 8 Jan, 201223 Jan, 2012
Black-headed Gull (2)presentpresent
Blackbird (2)presentpresent
Blue Tit (2)presentpresent
Canada Goose (2)presentpresent
Carrion Crow (2)presentpresent
Chaffinch (1)-present
Collared Dove (1)present-
Common Gull (2)presentpresent
Coot (2)presentpresent
Dunnock (1)-present
Feral Pigeon (2)presentpresent
Goldcrest (1)-present
Goldfinch (1)-present
Goosander (1)-present
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1)-present
Great Tit (2)presentpresent
Greylag Goose (2)100present
Herring Gull (2)22
House Sparrow (2)presentpresent
Long-tailed Tit (2)presentpresent
Magpie (1)-present
Mallard (2)presentpresent
Moorhen (2)presentpresent
Mute Swan (2)11
Pochard (2)1present
Redwing (1)-present
Ring-necked Parakeet (1)-present
Robin (2)presentpresent
Starling (1)-present
Treecreeper (1)-1
Tufted Duck (2)1present
Woodpigeon (2)presentpresent
Total species: 322131

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Frosty walk around Oak Road Playing Fields

 After weeks of mild weather we woke up to a sharp frost and headed to Oak Road Playing Fields for a winter walk. The frost had dusted the fields and ice had formed on the shady side of the fishing lake, where Black-headed and common gulls didn't mind the low water temperature. Coots, mallards, tufted ducks and three Gadwalls completed the lake birds.
Gorse flowering
Frosty grass
Tufted duck pair
View of the fishing lake

Bird list
  1. Black-headed Gull 
  2. Blackbird 
  3. Blue Tit 
  4. Carrion Crow 
  5. Common Gull 
  6. Coot 
  7. Cormorant 
  8. Gadwall 
  9. Goldfinch 
  10. Great Spotted Woodpecker 
  11. Great Tit 
  12. Greenfinch 
  13. Herring Gull 
  14. Lesser Black-backed Gull 
  15. Long-tailed Tit 
  16. Magpie 
  17. Mallard 
  18. Robin 
  19. Tufted Duck 
  20. Woodpigeon 
  21. Wren

Monday, 9 January 2012

The woodland cemetery

My local cemetery is now disused. The trees are well over 100 years old and there is a lot of old wood around. The neglect this cemetery suffered for a while meant that birds that like old woodland thrive here. Today we saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker flying away as we approached it, and then another one teased us later, flying from one tree to the next, but not allowing close views. It was while following the woodpecker that we came across this Treecreeper, a bird that I don't come across often, that feeds on the cracks and notches of trunks and branches. This one allowed us to get quite close, but it is such a cryptic bird that I was unable to take good shots. The one above is the only decent one I managed.
  Wrens, great tits, robins and song thrushes sung this mild January morning. Two robins went about their business close to each other, possibly already pairing.
This clump of snowdrops stood brigthly in a clearing.

Bird list
  1. Black-headed Gull
  2. Blackbird
  3. Blue Tit
  4. Carrion Crow
  5. Coal Tit
  6. Collared Dove
  7. Common Gull
  8. Feral Pigeon
  9. Goldcrest
  10. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  11. Great Tit
  12. House Sparrow
  13. Kestrel
  14. Long-tailed Tit
  15. Magpie
  16. Robin
  17. Song Thrush
  18. Starling
  19. Treecreeper
  20. Woodpigeon
  21. Wren