Posts Tagged ‘Grey Heron’

At present both the Big Butterfly count and the national Dragonfly survey are both running and so I decided to combine counts for these with my weekly counts on the local patch. It was a warm but quite windy day and so conditions were not ideal and this was reflected in the low butterfly count – just a Small White and a Speckled Wood seen. However there is always something to find and today it was two new records for me – the first of these was a female Tufted Duck and 4 young. Although the Tufted Duck are present all year round on the Tarn, this is the first time I have seen evidence of successful breeding. The youngsters are quite large now and look very healthy so hopefully, they will make it to adulthood.

The second new record was 2 Jersey Tiger Moths. This bright, colourful day flying Moth is a relative newcomer to London. In a 1903 survey, it was found only in one location in Devon and in the Channel Islands, but in recent years it has spread throughout southern England and arrived in 2004 in London where it is now regularly recorded.

Jersey Tiger Moth. Photo by AJ Cann (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/)

Jersey Tiger Moth.

Young Grey Heron on Tarn

 

After completing the weekly survey I went onto Eltham Palace to check out the moat for Dragonflies and was pleased to find a number of Small Red-Eyed Damselflies plus a single Migrant Hawker

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Bracket Fungus

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)

 

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Jersey Tiger Moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria)

Small Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma vindulum)
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Rainham Marshes

After a trip to IKEA at Lakeside, Sue and I dropped into the RSPB reserve at Rainham Marshes for a coffee and a quick walk around the woodland area of this large marshland reserve.

The woods were full of song, much of it from newly arrived migrants and Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Blackcap were seen. Sedge and Reed warblers were calling from the nearby reed beds and we came across one very tolerant Reed Bunting which happily posed for pictures. There were also good numbers of butterflies with Orange Tip particularly numerous. A single Swallow was the first sighting of this summer migrant for me this year.

Orange-Tip

Orange-Tip

Reed Bunting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later we stopped for lunch at Bough Beech and were rewarded with sightings of Garganey and Little Ringed Plover both recently arrived from their Winter homes, together with my first House Martin of the year.

Bough Beech

Little Ringed Plover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garganey (from archive)

 

 

Grey Heron

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Garganey (Anas querquedula)
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)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Some interesting finds on this week’s recording walk at the Tarn. The bright sunny day had brought out lots of insects.

4 species of Butterfly were seen including the first Blue of the year, a single Holly Blue along with Small White, Orange Tip and Speckled Wood.

Speckled Wood

A couple of other interesting finds were a number of Bee-flys (Bombylius Major) and a hover-fly which is a Bumblebee mimic (Eristalis Inricarius). Thanks to the Insect facebook community for rapidly confirming ID  on these.

Bee-fly

 

Eristalis Intricarius

Eristalis Intricarius

The usual resident birds were present. The Coot are nesting and one pair of Greylag Geese already has 5 goslings. One visitor stopped me to say he had seen 2 Carp in the water at the western end of the Lake, which must be another good sign that water quality is improving and this may be related to a Grey Heron fishing in the shallows at the eastern end, although he is probably after smaller fish.

Coot nesting

Grey Heron fishing

Good specimen of fungi on a fallen tree

 

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
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 Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Common Carder-Bee

 

A mild but overcast morning saw Keith and I at the London Wetland Centre in search of migrant birds that may have paused here on the way to their wintering grounds and winter visitors that have recently arrived.

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The lake by the entrance was uncharacteristically busy with Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Coot and Little Grebe present.

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Then it was onto the Grazing Marsh where there was a flock of European Wigeon along with a feeding Green Woodpecker.

Eurasian Wigeon

Eurasian Wigeon

 

Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

The star birds beyond doubt were 2 Jack Snipe which were found roosting on the marsh. These regular winter visitors to the centre are hard to see and we have missed them on a number of previous visits. ‘Oh if you were only here ten minutes ago, a Jack Snipe was sitting in the open’ has been the closest we have come in previous years, but now we were treated to extend and excellent views, one sitting next to a Common Snipe so we could the difference in size, plumage and bill.

Jack Snipe (photo by Don Sutherland -https://www.flickr.com/photos/snapperg/)

Jack Snipe (photo by Don Sutherland -https://www.flickr.com/photos/snapperg/)

 

Jack Snipe (photo by Don Sutherland -https://www.flickr.com/photos/snapperg/)

Jack Snipe (photo by Don Sutherland -https://www.flickr.com/photos/snapperg/)

After indulging ourselves on Jack Snipe we moved onto the North Lake. On the way we saw a fully winged Mandarin Duck, so not part of the collection.

Mandarin

Mandarin

Arriving at Wildside hide we searched for the Yellow Legged Gull that had been reported, but most of the gulls seem to have departed the reserve and so we were unsuccessful.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

A good day with the Jack Snipe being the star birds. So rare to see even when you know they are present, so a special moment.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
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 (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Grey Heron

Posted: October 28, 2016 in Birds, Natural History
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The largest and commonest of our breeding Herons in the UK, the Grey Heron is a common sight in most wetland habitats.

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Most recent figures suggest that there are around 13000 breeding pairs in the UK. Herons nest in tree-top colonies (heronries) where they may be found alongside their smaller relative, Little Egret.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

The estimated wintering population in the UK is 63000 birds

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

 

Pictures from our recent trip to Northumbria

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

Avocet

Avocet

White tailed Bumblebee

White-tailed Bumblebee

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Coot

Coot

Sleeping Grey Heron on nest

Sleeping Grey Heron on nest

Strumpshaw Fen

Strumpshaw Fen

The final day of our trip to Norfolk and our final destination is Strumpshaw fen RSPB reserve. I am still hoping to get that elusive photograph of Swallowtail Butterfly and this reserve is one of their strongholds in the UK.

Strumpshaw Fen

Strumpshaw Fen

As we made our way along the trail, I did get to take some photographs of a butterfly species that I haven’t managed to capture before, but it was not Swallowtail. Instead it was a lovely White Admiral which briefly posed for us before flying off

White Admiral

White Admiral

White Admiral

White Admiral

Other highlights included Norfolk Hawker dragonfly and an Emperor Dragonfly as well as a number of different species of butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoieshell

Small Tortoieshell

 

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

We eventually made it to the hide and decided to settle ourselves down as an Otter had been seen earlier using the waterway which passes in front. we di see Grey Heron and Little Egret but alas no sighting of Otter.

Little Egret

Little Egret

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

And what you may ask about the Swallowtail’s – yes we saw a number. No I didnt get to photograph them. Oh well there is always next year!

 

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
White Admiral (Limenitis camilla)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Norfolk Hawker (Anaciaeschan isosceles)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

Grey Heron

Posted: June 30, 2015 in Birds, Natural History
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Grey Heron

Posted: May 4, 2015 in Birds, Natural History
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A couple of hours between meetings in Central London gave me time for a visit to Regents Park to see if I could catch up with any of the spring migrants that have just began arriving in the UK.

As I entered the park I was greeted by 3 Grey Herons standing guard near the path.

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The nearest of these was only a foot or so from the path and watched unmoving as the world went past. Some people decided to engage him in a eye-ball to eye-ball staring match which given the beak on these birds I considered very brave. For information the heron won every time.

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There was much evidence of the oncoming spring with much fighting and quarrelling between pairs and nest-building.The herons are already well on in their breeding as witnessed by 4 young birds on 2 nests in the heronry.

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Pairs of Coot where busy building nests in various places around the lake.#

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I was surprised by 2 Barnacle Geese near the bandstand with the Canada and Greylag Geese. It is unlikely that these are wild-birds as is the case with the male Ruddy Duck seen on the lake. They probably originated from a bird collection somewhere.There were 2 last winter with the Greylags at Hyde Park and these may be the same birds.

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In the enclosure at the head of the lake I located a male Blackcap (1st for the year) and a Chiffchaff, probably both migrants. It is difficult to be sure these days since with the warmer winters many members of these two species are now spending the winter in the UK instead of migrating south in the autumn.

Blackcap
Blackcap
Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Mosquiter íberic - Mosquitero ibérico - Chifchaff - Phylloscopus ibericus
Chifchaff
Photo by Ferran Pestana (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ferranp/)

A very pleasant couple of hours

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
*Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
*Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
*Ruddy Duck [sp] (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
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 Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
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)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

*unknown origin