Posts Tagged ‘Regents Park’

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Having a couple of hours to spare after an appointment in central London and having the previous day failed to catch up with either Brown Hawker or Southern Hawker Dragonflies at London Wetland Centre, I decided to go for a walk around the lake in Regents Park to see if I could remedy this.

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As usual, the lake held its normal array of waterbirds, including 3 species of geese, all present in good numbers.

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese

Greylag Goose

Greylag Goose

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

One surprise was to find Coot that were still nesting. I located 2 nests, one of which had young visible.

Nesting Coot

Nesting Coot

Young Coot

Young Coot

On the dragonfly front, I was not successful with only Common Darter being recorded.

Common Darter

Common Darter

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
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)
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 Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

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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

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)

Some more pictures from the visit to Hyde Park and Regents Park last Thursday.

Red Crested Pochard

Red Crested Pochard

Ring necked Parakeet - 'If you think this cage is going to keep me from the nuts!'

Ring necked Parakeet – ‘If you think this cage is going to keep me from the nuts!’

Great Tits

Great Tits

Common Pochard

Common Pochard

Shoveler

Shoveler

Keith and I had intended going to the London wetland centre, but following a brief discussion when we met up in central London, we diverted to Kensington Gardens to look for the 1st winter drake Scaup that has been there for a week or so.

Arriving at round pond it did not take us long to identify the bird which stood out from the resident Tufted Duck by its larger rounded head and a clear patch of its emerging adult silver back showing through its juvenile plumage. It stayed well out into the centre of the pond. Satisfied we wandered off to take some photos of nearby Kensington Palace and when we returned we could not relocate it. We later learned that it does move around between the pond and the Serpentine so we counted ourselves lucky that we had found it here as locating it on the much larger Serpentine would have been more difficult.

!st winter drake Scaup

1st winter drake Scaup

There were a good number of Common Gulls present and a large flock of over 60 Eygptian Geese

Common Gull

Common Gull

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese

Our next target was to see if we could find one of the local Tawny Owls roosting in the trees. I had been told the general area to look but we hunted without success. We did find a small party of Redwing feeding on the ground.

Redwing

Redwing

We decided that the cold was beginning to bite and we would head to the cafe by the Serpentine for a coffee. On the way we came across Paul one of the regular local birders, who kindly offered to show us the Owl’s roost tree. So we set off again back the way we had come and soon found the spot and there sure enough was the male bird sitting on his usual roost branch. Its easy when you know where to look!

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl

Well in all the excitement we had forgotten about Coffee but after sometime watching and photographing the Owl we headed back to the Serpentine and that hot drink. After lunch we walked north up the side of the Serpentine and added a number of common species to our list and found lots of opportunity for photography.

The Serpentine, Hyde Park

The Serpentine, Hyde Park

When we reached Notting Hill the weather and the light had deteriorated but we decided to use what was left of the day by visiting Regent’s Park.

Regents Park

Regents Park

We did not add much to our list in the fading light but we had some nice views of some of the feral birds that breed here including Mandarin Duck and Red-Crested Pochard.

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

An excellent days birding and our big thanks to Paul for his assistance in finding the Tawny Owl.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
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)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Tawny Owl [sp] (Strix aluco)
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)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

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)

An afternoon walk in Regents Park.

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Amazingly hot weather and everything (me included0 was trying to keep in the shade. Consequently not much bird activity. Highlight of the day was a number of Brown Hawkers in the Wetland Pen (a year tick). Brown Hawker is one of the easiest Dragonflies to identify as in flight it appears totally brown and it is the only Dragonfly (in UK at least) with brown Wings. Also good numbers of Speckled Wood Butterflies on the wing.

Brown Hawker Dragonfly in flight 5
Brown Hawker
Photo by Tony Hisgett (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/)

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) 04/09/2013 13:00
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
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)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Arrived at Regents Park at lunchtime and decided that the first I would check out the Queen Mary’s garden area as a couple of spring migrants had been reported from here the previous day. My first stop was the garden of St John’s Lodge which has plenty of active blackbirds but little else and I could find. As I was surveying the trees, a Peregrine Falcon flew by heading east out of the park. I continued my walk through the gardens but was unable to locate any migrants. I crossed over Longbridge and walked down the North side of the boating lake. Apart from the common wildfowl, there was a pair of Common Shelduck and a female Ruddy Duck. Reaching the west end of the boating lake I stopped to see if the Water Rail was still present in the reed bed and was rewarded with some excellent views.

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I understand that they don’t tend to stay around here over the summer when the area is much busier and so I guess that they will be off to a breeding site soon. At this end of the lake the bird noise was dominated by a very vocal Green Woodpecker. As I turned to walk back along the south side of the lake a Sparrowhawk flew over heading west. From the South bank the usual array of wildfowl could be seen including 3 species of geese; a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a pair of Gadwall. A number of Grey Herons could be seen on their nests on the island heronry.

My next stop was Hyde Park, where starting from the Italian garden I proceeded walk south and east along the shore of the Longwater / Serpentine. The enclosure around Peter Pan statue was very profitable for woodland species with sightings of Nuthatch, 3 species of Tit and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker’s. Again the lounge vocalisations of green woodpecker could be heard. I checked out the trees where the Little Owl had been seen the day before but could not find him. As I searched a Peregrine flew over going east. Continuing to walk south along the waterside, a patch of trees just before the Serpentine Bridge yielded both Willow Warbler and Common Chiffchaff together. It really seems that these migrants have flooded in this week as they are now being reported from all over London. Continuing along the water’s edge there was little activity in the main body of the Serpentine probably due to the boating activity. By the lido however, I did locate a pair of Mandarin dark close into the bank. At the eastern end there was the usual flock of mute swans together with some dark and these included a pair of Gadwall. Also present was a pair of Great Crested Grebes.

Mandarin Duck (m+f)

Mandarin Duck (m+f)

Mandarin Duck (m)

Mandarin Duck (m)

In the evening I attended Central London RSPB meeting to hear a talk by Brian Nobbs on the different ways that birds feed and how this helps to maintain a diversity of different birds within the same environment.

Totalling up the bird lists from the two parks came to a really good 45 species – undoubtedly my best day total for central London. Also good to finally start seeing the summer migrants arrive.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
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)
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)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
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 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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)