Saturday, 14 April 2012

Spring at East Park

There is always something interesting going on at East Park, and yesterday was no exception. A cold northerly breeze and on an off drizzle did not make it a pleasant day, but spring was definitely in the air for birds: Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps singing and my first Swallow of the year, lazily feeding over the lake on a stopover from its migration.
 The locals were not wasting their time, and Carrion Crows, Mallards and Coots were very obviously sitting on their nests. A lone Great Crested Grebe fed near the island, which made me think that its partner was probably sitting on a nest somewhere as this species also breeds in the park.
 The flock of feral flocks suddenly took to the air. Looking up revealed the reason for their fright: a Sparrowhawk was flying overeah, and then joined another one high in the sky.
This blurry shot captures a Wren battle: a fluffy tiny ball of feathers fell literally on our feet, and we saw the ball was actually two Wrens locked onto each other fiercely fighting. They flew away after a few seconds.
The handsome Tufted drake. They seem to be always around, about 20 of them, but I have never seen ducklings.
A record shot of the Great Crested Grebe
In the little zoo, a peacock displaying to a hen delighted children and adults alike. We stopped and gawped at the wonder of its open tail and beautiful eyes, but we also marveled at the shimmering and the rattling noise the feathers made when he shook them to emphasize the effect. The female must be subject to an amazing experience as the cock train forms like a parabolic aerial surrounding a large part of her field of vision. He would turn round to offer her his rump, only to turn toward her again to carry on the show. Truly mesmerizing! 
Peacock show with attendant hen
The peacock
Wallaby and joey
 Bird list

Species

1.     Black-headed Gull

2.     Blackbird

3.     Blackcap

4.     Blue Tit

5.     Canada Goose

6.     Carrion Crow

7.     Chaffinch

8.     Chiffchaff

9.     Collared Dove

10.  Coot

11.  Dunnock

12.  Feral Pigeon

13.  Goldcrest

14.  Goldfinch

15.  Great Crested Grebe
1
16.  Greenfinch

17.  Greylag Goose
c100
18.  Herring Gull
c20
19.  House Sparrow

20.  Lesser Black-backed Gull
6
21.  Mallard

22.  Mistle Thrush
1
23.  Moorhen

24.  Mute Swan
1
25.  Pied Wagtail
1
26.  Robin

27.  Sparrowhawk
2
28.  Swallow
1
29.  Tufted Duck
c20
30.  Woodpigeon

31.  Wren


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