Monday, 14 November 2016

November at East Park

It feels like I need to give an excuse to go to East Park instead of a countryside place. However, East Park's is a great birdwatching spot on its own right, with a high diversity of birds year round. Today it was quite mild, with light south-westerly wind and quite overcast, although there was a sunny spell at some point. I walked anticlockwise from the main entrance, with a stop in the cafe mid-morning. There were many Black-headed gulls in the park today, several hundred. I went to each flock to try and spot a Mediterranean gull, but only found a few Common Gulls with them. At least 60 Herring gulls, with most immatures were present and an immature Lesser Black-back gull that was present also in October.
Young Black-headed gull.
There were six Mute Swans present, from two families. The browner single young of one of them did a busking display to the young from the other family, looking most impressive. I wonder if he (?) is trying to bond with a partner. The adults looked very relaxed about each other.
The young swan with fluffed up neck after the display.
The very brown young swan approaches the siblings from the other family.
A number of Pied Wagtails was present, two on the bowling green and three on the grass by the boat house.
One of the adult Mute Swans preened itself, managing to keep both feet out of the water. As it did so, it went slowly in circles.
This Carrion Crow and its partner were walking about with head feathers raised (bristle-head posture). 
Another view of one of the show offs.
 One of the highlights of today was superb views of a lone female Goldeneye. She was feeding near the bridge and I could approach while she dived and hide behind the life-saving rings to take her photo when she emerged.
 As I had moved on, a Kingfisher perched on the railing by the life-saving ring. it stood there for a minute or two, before flying across the lake into the distance. I was pleased to finally get good views of the East Park kingfisher.
 Kingfisher on the railing by the bridge.
I caught up with it again and again. This time, it fished from the branches of a fallen tree.
A late Chiffchaff hunted for insects in a Sycamore.
There is a group of rowans, all berries and no leaves on a small hill. This Mistle thrush had taken possession of the lot, and spent quite a long time rattling from them, and then chasing any blackbird that dared fly to its trees.
On the way back, the Goldeneye was still diving on the same spot.
A very yellow Grey Wagtail on a puddle.
This young crow (quite brownish plumage) has white primaries. This is thought to be due to poor diet when being fed by their parents, and, if the bird survives, it should grow black feathers in the next moult.
One of the birds I missed was the Jay, again! But I saw the lone Ring-necked Parakeet flying over the lake being very noisy. Overall, 40 birds in today's visit.
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