Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Mute Swan

Posted: March 26, 2021 in Birds, Natural History
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photo by Sue

photo by Sue

photo by Sue

photo by Sue

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Canada Goose

Posted: March 11, 2021 in Birds, Natural History
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The Canada Goose is one of our common resident geese, Introduced from North America from the late 17th century it has spread across almost the whole of the UK and is often found on city lakes and in parks as well as in the countryside.

It is estimated that there are around 62,000 breeding pairs in the UK with a peak population of around 190,000 birds.

Flock of Canada Geese with a single Greylag Goose (centre)

Bulfinch

Posted: March 4, 2021 in Birds, Natural History
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One of my favourite birds but rare in my area now.

A new visitor to the Garden

Posted: February 25, 2021 in Birds, London, Natural History, UK
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Was surprised to find a Fieldfare in the garden the other day. This was the first record since we arrived here in 2000 and took the garden list to 46 species. I didn’t manage to photograph it but here are some pictures of Fieldfare taken at Bough Beech earlier in the year

I remember seeing my first Ring-billed Gull. It was the long-staying one at Copperhouse Creek in West Cornwall. Years later we had one that returned to Greenwich/Isle of Dogs in London. Like the Copperhouse bird, it returned to the site for a number of years running.

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It was pretty wet over the weekend, but I did manage to find a break in the weather to do my garden birdwatch and recorded 11 species in the hour (plus 3 more flying over which don’t count towards the birdwatch. The flock of Redwing and the Nuthatch stayed away but most of the regulars put in an appearance

Big Garden Birdwatch

Posted: January 29, 2021 in Birds, Natural History
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Here in the UK, it’s the weekend of the Big Garden Birdwatch organised by the RSPB. This is the largest citizen science project in this country and last year almost 500,000 people took part and this year with many more of us at home in lockdown they expect the response to break that half a million observer barrier.

I have three local spots to record – My own garden, my local park and the gardens of a nearby historic house. I hope to get these done over the weekend but typically all plans have been put on hold as we have heavy rain here in London at the moment and even the birds in my garden have disappeared. Let’s hope it clears up so the results can flow in.

The survey which has now been running since 1979 has been important in tracking the rises and falls in ‘common birds’ found in gardens. It has plotted the declines in House Sparrows, Blackbirds, Robins and song Thrushes and has highlighted areas where more in detail studies should be undertaken.

Robin

So I am poised and ready for this years count. If only the rain would stop!

I haven’t been able to visit the RSPB reserve at Minsmere since February so it was good to reconnect, even if only virtually and to hear how the expansion of the nuclear power plant at Sizewell is threatening to seriously affect this, the single reserve with the most diverse habitats in the UK.

A nice autumnal day and a visit to Walthamstow Wetlands Nature Reserve in East London. This is a complex of reservoirs, which although still functional are maintained as a nature reserve and open space.

There were the usual selection of bird species present and a couple of Migrant Hawker dragonflies. but even though we didn’t find anything out of the ordinary, it was a lovely walk in the autumn sun.

Cirl Buntings

Posted: October 20, 2020 in Birds, Natural History
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Some more pictures from the archive. This time of some Cirl Buntings, a rare UK bird once only found at one site in South Devon. Thanks to wintering feeding there is now an expanding population in the SW. These photos were taken on a trip to Broadsands Bay.