Posts Tagged ‘Footscray Meadows’

Keith was staying with us for the weekend and so on Saturday, we visited some of our local nature reserves.

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Our first stop was at Footscray meadows, a mixture of grassland and woodland along the banks of the river Cray.

One of our first sightings was of a Little Egret fishing in the river, but otherwise, it was fairly quiet – at least as far as wildlife was concerned – Saturday is probably not the best time to visit as it is a favourite place for dog-walkers and families.

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We made our way up river towards the five-arch bridge, which forms the head of a lake in the river, where Mallard and Tufted Ducks congregate together with Moorhen, Coot, Mute Swans and Egyptian geese. We also saw a Terrapin basking in the sunlight. These now seem to be a permanent resident of many of our lakes in the area, released by pet owners who no longer want them or who can’t house them when full grown. Walking further upstream from the lake, we heard a couple of Cetti’s warblers calling, but there was little evidence of any small bird migration.

 

Terrapin (left), Mute Swan (top right) and Egyptian Goose (lower right) 

Our next stop was Sutcliffe Park LNR. Here it was evident that the vegetation had grown well this summer as the marsh area was completely covered and impossible to see into. The highlight was a Little Grebe on the Lake.

 

Our final stop was my home patch around the Tarn. here we found 2 Little Grebes, probably an adult and a juvenile along with a Grey Heron. Keith heard a Grey Wagtail, which winters here each year, but we could not locate it.

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Little Grebes – adult (left and top right) and probable juvenile (lower right)

Grey Heron (left) and Coot (right)

 

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Misty morning

Posted: January 15, 2016 in Landscape, Natural History
Tags:

Some pictures of the morning mist at Footscray meadows last week

 

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A misty morning as I arrived at Footscray meadows for a local RSPB walk. Whilst waiting for the group to assemble saw Song Thrush and Little Egret which were to be common sightings throughout the morning. As we set off towards the River Cray we could hear the Ring-Necked Parakeets shrill calling through the mist, which soon diapated leaving us with a bright sunny morning.

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Ring-Necked Parakeet

Ring-Necked Parakeet

Walking along the banks of the River we encountered a Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail, both allowed good views although only the latter was within photographic range.

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Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

 

Crossing the bridge at the northern end of the site we made our way back down the river through grassland and stopping to look at the woods. Apart from groups of Long-tailed Tits there seemed to be a marked absence of small birds. Arriving back at the river by the Five Arch Bridge we added Mallard, Coot, Moorhen and Tufted Duck to our list.

Mallard

Mallard

 

A Great Comorant was seen flying over as we set off to the south following the bank of the river. A pair of Little Grebe and a pair of Gadwall were found amongst the Islands and a Water Rail was heard from deep inside the vegetation as we made our way back to our starting point.

 

A very pleasant mornings walk. Thanks to Ralph and Brenda the leaders.

 

Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)

Decided to go out for a walk by the River Cray. Starting at Footscray High street I followed the course of the river as it wound through Footscray meadows all the way to 5 Arch bridge.

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows approaching 5 Arch Bridge

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows approaching 5 Arch Bridge

The weather was pretty awful and it rained for much of the way, but by the time I reached the bridge and the main pool the sun had come out.

The main pool from Five arch Bridge

The main pool from Five arch Bridge

Unfortunately it was very quiet and apart from a single Little Grebe and a single Great Crested Grebe there were only Mallard, Tufted Duck and Coot to be seen along with a family party of Mute Swans.

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

JUvenile Mute Swan

JUvenile Mute Swan

Coot

Coot

I then went onto another stretch of the Cray a few miles away at Hall Place but here the story was the same and it was very quiet. It was very noticeable how much water was flowing down the river, no doubt as a result of the recent rainfall.

R.Cray @ Hall Place

R.Cray @ Hall Place

So only 22 species for a three hour walk but lovely countryside and the soup and bread at Hall Place was a fine antidote to the cold, wet weather

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)