Posts Tagged ‘Naturelog’

It was overall a fairly quiet month on the patch. I don’t know if it is the mild weather but there doesn’t seem to have been a noticeable increase in birds at the feeders in the garden. I have heard that its been a good year for natural food all round and so perhaps the birds do not have to move to feeding stations yet as there is plenty still available. Most of our trees still have their leaves, although this seems to vary from area to area.

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23 bird species were seen on the patch this month.The year’s total rose to 50 as the highlight of the month was the visit of a party of Barn Swallows on the 3rd staying around the garden for a matter of 5 minutes or so before moving on their way south for the winter. On checking my records this was my first patch record of this species for over ten years. There was also a brief late sighting of a Comma butterfly (a first for the patch this year) in the Garden during one sunny afternoon which brought the butterfly year total to 9 species. No Dragonflies were seen on the patch during the month so the years total remains at 4 species.

Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica) 03/10/2013
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
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)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)

Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)

A morning walk around the Tarn between the rain showers.

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The Canada x Greylag goose pair were present together with this years young one

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Apart from this there were only 2 other geese, a pair of Canada’s

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At the eastern end of the Tarn, a Grey Heron roosted in a tree

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Also at the eastern end , a Grey wagtail was busy on the mud and the bank but too far away for a photo.

Grey wagtail (This one seen in Canterbury)

Grey wagtail (This one seen in Canterbury)

In the garden a party of 6 Blue and 2 Great Tits visited for a while before moving on.

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)
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)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)

Between 2 meetings, I managed to fit in a couple of hours at the London Wetlands Centre.

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It was predominantly a wet and windy day and most self-respecting birds were keeping themselves well away from view. Thus apart from the feeder area, the majority of bird activity was on the lakes. The usual array of waterbirds were present, but the Gargeney and Pintail seen earlier in the week appear to have moved on.

Coot

Coot

Teal

Teal

The only other sightings of note were two species of woodpecker and a brief view of a peregrine.

On the way to the station in the morning I had seen the Sparrowhawk over the Tarn.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
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)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

The garden has been quiet this week with only the usual residents present. But continuing on from last weeks Sparrowhawk show, Thursday again turned up trumps with another surprise set of visitors which required you just to be looking at the right time. At about 1630 I looked outside and the air above the garden was “full of birds” flying backwards and forwards and circling around as a party of Swallows (The first sighting for me on the patch for over 10 years) passed through. They stayed around for a matter of minutes before flying off to the south-west, no doubt headed for warmer climes.

Barn Swallow
photo by Ken Schneider (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zonotrichia/)

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)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)

Patch update: September

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Birds, Natural History
Tags: , , ,

In what was a quiet month 23 bird species were seen on the patch this month.The year’s total remains at 49. The Highlight was undoubtedly the Sparrowhawk enjoying his evening meal in the middle of the garden on the 26th. This brought home to me the luck involved in wildlife watching as had this occurred 10 minutes later I would have left home to catch a train and would have missed it.

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No butterfly species were recorded this month. The year total thus remains at 8 species.Likewise no species of Dragonfly were seen during the month with the years total being 4 species.

A weekend in Marlow and the opportunity to visit a couple of nature reserves that I haven’t visited before.

In the morning we visit the RSPB reserve at Otmoor, a large area of marshland and water meadows.

RSPB Otmoor

RSPB Otmoor

RSPB Otmoor Photo by Sue

RSPB Otmoor
Photo by Sue

It was reasonably quiet but we did see Red Kite and Kestrel.

Kestrel  Photo by sue

Kestrel
Photo by sue

On the walk back to the car park we saw two doves fly onto a fence. At first I thought they were collared Dove, but in the telescope it was clear that they were a pair of the much rarer Turtle Doves, a species which is becoming rarer in the UK. They are both juveniles, so lack the characteristic neck markings of the adult.

Turtle  Doves Photo by Sue

Turtle Doves
Photo by Sue

Turtle Dove Photo by Sue

Turtle Dove
Photo by Sue

We also saw a really pristine Comma butterfly which was unexpected for so late in the season

Comma  Photo by Sue

Comma
Photo by Sue

Our afternoon stop was Farmoor reservoir.

Farmoor

Farmoor

As we approached the reservoir there were a number of Pied Wagtails together with a Grey Wagtail.

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Walking along the causeway between the two reservoirs we located Rock Pipit and Little Ringed Plover in addition to the large numbers of geese, ducks and Great Crested Grebes.

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

Returning to the car park I scanned the bottom of the southern basin and located one of the two Black-necked Grebes that have been present there for the last few days.

On the way back to Marlow we were passing Stokenchurch and there were 14 Red Kites in the air at the same time. Quite a sight!

We hadn’t got a large number of species during the day but we had some good sightings.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Black-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps nigricollis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Turtle Dove [sp] (Streptopelia turtur)
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)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Had spent most of the day working at home. The garden had been reasonably quiet during the day with the usual collection of Crows, Magpies and Pigeons. As I was preparing to pack up and get ready to go out I glanced out of the window and first saw a magpie on the grass in the middle of the grass. I was then aware of a larger darker bird close to it. Quickly picking up my binoculars I saw it was the female Sparrowhawk who rather unusually was feeding on a Common Pigeon (Even the larger female Sparrowhawks tend to go for something smaller like a Thrush or a Starling).

Not knowing how long it would be around I quickly grabbed the camera and took some photos and video.

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After a couple of minutes it flew off with the pigeon still in its talons (only just above the ground) into the secluded area at the back of the garden and was lost to view.

The Tarn

The Tarn

The Tarn

The Tarn

Did the first round of the BTO winter Thrushes survey around Patch area, Eltham Palace and King Johns Walk. The survey requires at least one visit per month along a pre-designated walk recording all the Thrushes and Starlings seen. Only 1 Blackbird and 1 Mistle Thrush seen today, but that reflects our summer absence of all the thrush species from the patch area. Lets hope that as the winter goes on we get a good influx of thrushes like last year. One great sighting were two separate Green woodpeckers one on King Johns Walk and one in Fairy Hill Park. Also the Canada goose / Greylag goose were back on the Tarn with this years young one after an absence of some weeks

The Canada goose / Greylag goose pair with this years young one

The Canada goose / Greylag goose pair with this years young one

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
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)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

Returning to London today but before I catch an afternoon train an opportunity to go to one of my favourite spots on the Sefton coast at Formby.

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The reserve here comprises 3 zones Sand-dunes backed by deciduous woodland which gives way to a coniferous woodland. This latter area is very good. Excellent views of Coal Tit and Nuthatch.

Coal Tit
Coal Tit
photo by Sergey Yeliseev (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

The other great thing about Formby is that it is the only place on mainland England where you can see Red Squirrel. I was fortunate to see 3 of these lovely creatures although all managed to keep well hidden enough to prevent any photos.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

photos by Robert Engberg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rengber/)

Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
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)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Today saw me travelling out to the Wirral coast in search of more waders. My first stop however is Bidston Moss, an area of lakes and trees about 2 miles inland.
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The star birds here were birds of prey with Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Kestrel all present. Also a single Common Chiffchaff and a Comma butterfly trying to shelter from the rain.

Comma

Comma

Rain on a spiders web

Rain on a spiders web

The next stop was Leasowe Common where again the most notable thing was the movement of Swallows as well as a pair of Reed Buntings amongst common species. Also good numbers of Small tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood Butterflies

Speckled wood

Speckled wood

Leasowes Lighthouse

Leasowes Lighthouse

Starlings

Starlings

Then onto Meols beach. Meols is a good place to look for waders as there is an channel in the mud which retains water even at low tide and is attractive to wading birds. Checking through the waders present the most frequent is Common Redshank (c400), Ruddy Turnstone (c40) and Oystercatcher (c25). However also present were a Bar-tailed Godwit, a few Dunlin and a pair of Curlew Sandpipers.

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

The final stop was the seafront at West Kirby which is the place where the Wirral coast meets the Dee estuary. It is one of the best places to see waers at high tide. The wader roost on the mudflats was comprised of Oystercatcher (c500), Curlew (c50) and Dunlin (c20). In addition there were many birds roosting on the off-shore islands. There seemed to be mostly Oystercatcher, but distance and haze made it difficult to see if there was anything present with them.

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Bar-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa lapponica)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
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)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)