Posts Tagged ‘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

Now How do I eat this?

Posted: March 22, 2015 in Birds, Natural History
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A sequence of pictures shot of a young Grey Heron eating a frog.

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Going

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Going

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Gone

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Shot at Regents Park London 19/3/15

After Keith and I have finished the tour at Lord’s we walk the short distance to Regents Park.

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In the enclosure we see a Male Scaup which seems intent on following a male Smew wherever it goes. This is most strange behavior and I have certainly never seen anything like it before.

Smew and Scaup

Scaup and Smew

We stop to see a young Grey Heron trying to eat a frog it has found in the water margins. Eventually it figures out how to swallow it.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

On the Lake there is a large raft of Coot.

Coot

Coot

There are plenty of Canada, Greylag and Egyptian Geese either on the lake or grazing on the lawns.

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Just before we leave the park we pass the Heronry and can see that a few pairs of Grey Herons are already occupying nests

Heronry

Heronry

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
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)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
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)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

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A grey morning but the first opportunity this year to get out and do some birdwatching away from the local patch. The sighting of a Firecrest the day before drew me to Kelsey Park in Beckenham. Firecrest, an uncommon winter visitor to the UK has been one of those birds for me. In all my years of birding I have only ever seen one and that was about 20 years ago. The combination of its rarity and its elusive nature certainly has something to do with this lack of records but I think there are just some birds you are not fated to see!

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Today would be no exception to the rule. I arrived at the location in which it had been seen yesterday and waited. But there was not a movement, not a sign or a sound of the bird.

Still this is a good site for birding and I made my way back to the Lake to see what I could add to the years species list. A rather obliging Little Grebe came close for photos together with other regular residents. Mandarin Duck were present in good numbers (8 males and 4 females) – the largest party have seen for quite some years in this area.

Mandarin duck (male)

Mandarin duck (male)

Tufted Duck (male)

Tufted Duck (male)

LIttle Grebe

LIttle Grebe

Grey Heron on nest in heronry

Grey Heron on nest in heronry

Mute Swans and Canada Geese

Mute Swans and Canada Geese

I had intended going onto another site nearby but by lunchtime the rain had begun to fall and after one final look around the area where the Firecrest had been seen with no luck I decided to head for home. Oh well maybe one day.

One other interesting sighting on the lake was the presence of a male Cayuga Duck. This is a Domestic Duck species imported into the UK from the USA. A local told me that it was found in someone’s garden locally and then released onto the lake.

Cayuga Duck (male)

Cayuga Duck (male)

Keith and I went off for a days birdwatching at the London Wetland centre.

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Our arrival was greeted by a party of Pied Wagtails at the entrance to the reserve and these were briefly joined by a Grey Wagtail, which was unfortunately flushed by a passer-by before we could get photos. We proceeded to walk the southern route first stoping at the hides on the way to the central tower hide. There were a good selection of species on show but none of the reserves specialities (Bittern, Jack Snipe, Water Rail) were visible.

Wigeon

Wigeon

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

Gadwall

Gadwall

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Little Grebe

Little Grebe


Whilst in the tower hide we heard that a Bittern had been seen near the WWF hide and so we retraced our steps hoping to find it still on show, but alas no luck. Then it was off to the coffee shops for a cup of hot chocolate to drive out the effects of the biting wind before making our way along the northern side of the reserve. We continued to add species to the days list but still those specialities eluded us. We spent the last hour in the Wildside hide looking out over the reed bed in the hope of seeing a Bittern flying to roost but it was going to be one of those days although we were treated to the sight of the Ring-necked parakeets flying to roost as we made our way back to the centre in the the fading light.

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A good days birdwatching nether the less with a total of over 40 species on our final list.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
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)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
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)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
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)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

The day had begun well as walking to the station I sighted our local Grey wagtail on the roof of a building opposite the Tarn. As I passed it flew back towards the park.

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An afternoon meeting at the British Museum gave the opportunity for a morning of birdwatching in central London. The available options came down to either the London Wetland Centre and the possibility of a Jack Snipe (for me a second ever record and a first for London) or the Yellow-browed warbler in Regents park (also a second ever record and a first for London). Given the elusive nature of Jack Snipe, I plumped for the warbler and was delighted to see that it had been seen this morning (although I was later to hear from the locals that this report may have been a misidentification as it was far from the birds regular haunts). It has been in the same area for 7 days now but this was my first opportunity to see it.

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Arriving at Regents Park and knowing the location where it had been seen I made my way straight there to find that it had been seen only 10 minutes previously in a bush on the edge of the island. A small group waited to see if it would return. An hour passed and then one of the local experts reported he had just heard its distinctive call from another location, but it proved elusive again and we went back to watching it’s favourite bush. 45 minutes later it was relocated again in a pine tree and although some of those present did see it I wasn’t so lucky. My first sighting was a flight view as it moved between trees but it wasn’t very good and if it hadn’t been seen previously I would have been reluctant to identify it. 10 restless minutes later it was relocated in some bushes and I was fortunate to get some excellent views of this attractive warbler as it moved through the bushes. It was very active and so I was unable to get any photos.

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Yellow-browed Warbler
Photo by Dave Curtis (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davethebird/)

Whilst looking for the Yellow-browed Warbler also found a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff as well as the resident woodland birds. On the way out of the park I was fortunate to find a Greater Spotted Woodpecker by the side of the main lake and a very obliging Grey Heron in a tree.Also more Egyptian geese than I recall seeing here before.

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Ruddy Duck [sp] (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
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)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
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)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)