Posts Tagged ‘Great Crested Grebe’

Keith had come up to London for the day and so we started at Hyde Park. Our main target for the day was to see and photograph Little Owl. In many places, this species is becoming scarce, but here in the park, there are at least three breeding pairs.

Italian Gardens

We started at Notting Hill Gate and proceeded to walk down the long water to the owl nesting site we had photographed last year.

Mute Swan
Ring-necked Parakeet

Finding the nest tree was no problem, but scanning the tree, there was no sign of any owls. Whilst we were looking, one of the local birders came up and gave us directions to another nest, where he said the female owl regularly sat out in the nest hole.

Great Cormorant
Lesser Black-backed Gull

We continued down the long water, crossing over the bridge and walking down to the Lido, where we stopped for a coffee break. Then we turned north again and walked up the other side of the long water.

Looking North from the Lido
Coot
Great Crested Grebe
Tufted Duck

We made our way to the area where we had been told there was another Little Owl nest and sure enough there was an owl sitting in the nest hole.

Little Owl

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mew Gull [sp] (Larus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Little Owl [sp] (Athene noctua)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

 

A bright winters day and a trip to Walthamstow Wetlands in east London, in search of a Little Bunting which has been present for a number of weeks. This rare visitor to the UK breeds in Northern Norway and Russia and winters in Nepal and China, so this bird is way off course. By nature, it is a skulking bird so on arriving at the area where it had been seen it was just a case of scanning all the small birds coming to the feeding tray. It took about 90 minutes but eventually, I saw a small bird moving behind the tray and then there it was, clearly visible. It moved quickly to the right and then disappeared into the vegetation. Some others present continued to see it for a minute or so in the vegetation but then it was gone. I later heard that it came back about 2 hours later.

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Little Bunting. Photo by Vince Garvey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/baggieman/)

After this, I took a walk around the reservoirs where the usual array of waterfowl were present. The highlight was a drake Greater Scaup, which is not common inland so was a good record.

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Greater Scaup (m). Photo by Andrew Reding (https://www.flickr.com/photos/seaotter/)

Great Crested Grebe

Grey Heron

Common Linnet (top), Great Cormorant (bottom left), Canada Goose (bottom right)

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Feral Dove [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

On a cold chilly and somewhat damp morning, Keith and I made our way to east London to investigate the newly opened Walthamstow Wetlands nature reserve. Although Walthamstow Reservoirs (as it was previously known) has been accessible to birdwatchers for a number of years (by permit), the changes in water management has led to a new approach which has opened up the site to the public for more recreational use with the creation of footpaths and the conversion of the old engine house into a visitors centre and cafe. From here we had good views of a Red Fox.

Old Engine House, now the visitor centre

Red Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many circular walks and Keith and I headed off to the two reservoirs known as East and West Warwick. Her we found a number of species of gulls and duck. As we walked along the side of West Warwick a female Goosander took to the air and flew off towards the visitor centre.  Returning to East Warwick 30 minutes or so later we found that, or maybe a second, female Goosander present.

Common Gull

Goosander (f)

 

From the elevated reservoir path, we also saw a pair of Europen Stonechat and witnessed a tussle between a Kestrel and a magpie who both wanted the same perch.

Kestrel and Magpie dispute post

Stonechat

 

Crossing the Coppermill stream, past Coppermill Tower, which when open will give views of the entire reserve, we were surprised to see a Mallard with 13 small chicks, which could not have been more than a week or two old. Very late breeding – Witness once again to the mild autumn that we have had in London.

Coppermill Tower

Mallard with young

 

 

 

 

 

Making our way back to the visitor centre between No5 and No 2 reservoirs we found a female Goldeneye on No 5 and a number of Great Crested Grebe on No 2. By now the rain had begun to settle in for the afternoon and so after a warming cup of tea, we decided to forgo a walk around the northern section of the reserve which contains a further two large reservoirs and head for the station and home.

Great Crested Grebe

Goldeneye (f)

 

A wonderful introduction to a new jewel in Londons natural habitat, I expect it will not be long before we return.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)

Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

 

After seeing the Ospreys Keith and I headed back towards the reserve’s visitor centre. On the way, we saw two Red Legged Partridges on the path ahead of us.

Red-legged Partridge

Back near the centre we met up with Sue, who having completed her craft shopping had scouted out a Treecreeper nest in another part of the reserve, so we headed off in that direction. It took a lot of patience and attempts to some decent photographs of the Treecreepers as they brought food back to the nest – we presume they were feeding young already. They move so fast once they land on the tree – you see them, they are in the nest and then away again. But patience and many attempts paid dividends in the end.

Treecreeper

Treecreeper

Treecreeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterflies were prevalent as soon as the sun came out and we recorded at least 5 species with Orange Tip being the most prevalent.

Orange Tip (m)

We also found a pair of Grat Crested Grebes who were displaying

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe displaying

Dunnock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made our way back to the car and went onto the reserve’s second visitor centre at Eggleton. We only added a couple of species here, most notably our only wading bird of the day – Northern Lapwing. But as we were walking back to the carpark from the centre we added Bullfinch, Song Thrush and Collared Dove to the days list in quick succession.

Bullfinch (m)

And so we started off on the journey home, but the day still wasn’t quite finished as near Norman Cross on the A1 we were treated to the sight of 8 Red Kites in the air together, circling over the road. The recovery of this species once limited to a few birds in West Wales is one of the great conservation successes of the past 20 years.

An excellent end to an excellent day’s birdwatching, with some fantastic photography opportunities.

Red-legged Partridge [sp] (Alectoris rufa)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Osprey [sp] (Pandion haliaetus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Treecreeper [sp] (Certhia familiaris)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow [sp] (Passer montanus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Unidentified small white spp (Small white / Green-viened white)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Red-tailed Bumblebee

White-tailed Bumblebee

Some more photos from the trip Keith and I made to the London Wetland Centre last Friday

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

 

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

 

Mandarin Duck (photo by Keith)

Mandarin Duck (photo by Keith)

 

Eurasian Bittern

Eurasian Bittern

 

Eurasian Wigeon

Eurasian Wigeon

 

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

A lovely spring Morning and a visit to Bough Beech.

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The first thing I noticed on arrival was the calls of Common Buzzard and up to 8 birds in the air at the same time. There has been a noted passage of Buzzards over SE England over the last couple of days – at least 16 had been reported from Bough Beech yesterday. It is possible that the calls were from a resident pair as they objected to the presence of other birds in ‘their’ area.

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On the reservoir were good numbers of great Crested Grebes and Tufted Duck along with a few geese and Cormorants. In the vegetation on the edge of the resrvoir a number of Little Grebes were also present.

LIttle Grebe

LIttle Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

A lapwing could be heard calling but was not seen. Also heard were a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker and Pheasant. Grey Herons were perched in the Trees.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

A Kingfisher sped across the causeway but did not stop in view. Down at the Visitor centre the feeders had the usual selection of finches. sparrows and tits.

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Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Gold finches

Goldfinches

A Cuckoo (the first of the year) had been heard about 30 minutes before we arrived but remained silent during the time we were there.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Danson Park Lake

Danson Park Lake

A free morning and although it was damp, misty and cold I decided to go off to Danson Park in Welling to see if there were any winter Thrushes present. Danson Park much like my own local patch is the remnants of an old country house. Unlike my patch it has remained intact as a public park consisting of woodland and grassland surrounding a large lake.

Danson House from the lakeside

Danson House from the lakeside

My route was to follow the lake edge starting on the southern side. Very soon I had good views of both Little and Great Crested Grebes.

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

At the western end a cormorant was drying its wings in classical pose and a Grey Heron was standing sentinel like on the bank.

Great Cormorant

Great Cormorant

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

In the western woodland a Magpie posed on the fence post

Magpie

Magpie

Coming back along the northern edge of the lake there was a large flock of Canada Geese with a few Egyptian Geese.

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

And what about those thrushes. I had almost reached my starting point again when I spotted two feeding thrushes on the ground. I moved closer and identified them as a Redwing and a Mistle Thrush. I moved closer to get a picture and then a dog rushed out of the trees and they were gone. Ah well that’s what happens in public parks. Maybe next time.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

DSCN5342a

A free morning and the chance to get out and do some birdwatching with Sue. We chose to visit one of our favourite places Bough Beech Reservoir near Sevenoaks. On arrival it was noticeable that the water level was much lower than on our previous visit, but despite the exposed mud there was little to be seen on the northern basin. The main reservoir lies to the south of the causeway and immediately the long-staying Great White Egret was located.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

A pair of Goosander were soon seen swimming across the reservoir and later the male came closer to the causeway.

Goosander

Goosander

A flash of blue was the only sighting of a Kingfisher as it sped from one side to the other. There were small parties of Teal, Wigeon and Shovellor along with a half a dozen Great Crested Grebes.

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

On the banks were a large group of Greylag geese, Cormorants and Lapwing together with a party of about 20 Mandarin Duck (the largest number I have ever seen here).

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Checking the Northern basin before we left I found this Little Egret posing for pictures.

Little Egret

Little Egret

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)

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The largest of the UK Grebes, this species was almost hunted to extinction in the Uk as a source of elegant and colourful feathers for the millinery trade. There are now an estimated 5, 500 breeding pairs with a winter population reaching 23,000 birds,

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I dont have any photos of the young birds so here is one by Stefan Berndtsson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbern/) They are just so different!

Skäggdopping / Great Crested Grebe