Posts Tagged ‘Shoveler’

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On the way back from a trip to Peterborough, Sue and I stopped off at Welney Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust for lunch and a couple of hours bird watching. From the main hide, we could see that the number of Whooper Swans present had risen significantly since our last visit back in mid-September with arrivals from the breeding grounds in the artic.

 

Also present were good numbers of duck species which also make their home for the winter on the washes of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk

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Eurasian Wigeon

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Common Pochard

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Northern Shoveler (m & f)

 

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Pintail (m)

The star birds of the day, although only seen briefly in flight were a group of 3 Common Cranes, which flew into the far side of the reserve before disappearing into the vegetation and out of sight. These once very rare birds are now increasing in numbers due to re-introduction programmes in Somerset and East Anglia.

Common Crane (Photographed Slimbridge Dec 2013)

Despite being the first weekend in November, we also saw a red admiral and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly and a pair of Common Darter Dragonflies, witness to how mild the autumn has been.

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)
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Crane [sp] (Grus grus)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
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)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow [sp] (Passer montanus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

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A bright morning and I am on the coach with the local RSPB group on my way to Titchwell, a RSPB reserve on the North Norfolk Coast. It promises to be a good day as there have been some excellent records during the week.

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On arrival, I make my way to the beach. There has been a large flock of sea-duck off-shore including over 100 Velvet Scoter. In the good sunlight, it proves easy to identify them and a flock of 30 or so is soon seen in flight as they move along the coast giving views of the white wing bars which are the key identifying feature. In amongst this flock and some which don’t have wing-bars – Common Scoter. There are also a large group of Long-tailed Ducks. Sadly, the Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes of the previous day were not present (I learnt later that they had moved a few miles down the coast to Holme).

Velvet Scoter. Photo by Tony Morris (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonymorris/)

Velvet Scoter. Photo by Tony Morris (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonymorris/)

Long-Tailed Duck. Photo by  Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Long-Tailed Duck. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Having exhausted the sea, I begin to make my way back through the reserve looking at the various lagoons and saltmarsh which stretch out either side of the path. There is a good selection of waders and ducks present.

Golden Plover

Golden Plover

Shelduck

Shelduck

Grey Plover and Redshank

Grey Plover and Redshank

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

Brent Geese

Brent Geese

Teal

Teal

My final stop is the reed-bed and the woodland where a few more species were added. On the way back some of the group found a Water rail in a ditch and we were able to get quick glimpses as it slipped away through the undergrowth and a party of Pink-Footed Geese flew which over on their way to roost.

Robin

Robin

Pink-footed Geese

Pink-footed Geese

An excellent day with over 60 species seen.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
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)
Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca)
Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra)
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Grey Plover [sp] (Pluvialis squatarola)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Bar-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa lapponica)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Red Knot [sp] (Calidris canutus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
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)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

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After a week taken up primarily with the marking of students assignments (a task which I find far harder and more difficult than preparing and giving the lectures) it was a great relief to get out for a days birdwatching with Keith at the London Wetland centre.

We were greeted on arrival by a group of Ring-necked Parakeets in the trees by the centre,

Ring-necked Parakeets

Ring-necked Parakeets

On the main lagoon there were a good selection of gulls, but only the common ducks.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

 

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

We visited the feeder station and searched the sheltered trees, but as seems to have been true all winter so far small birds were not present in numbers and the rarer species have not been drawn into feeders. No doubt this is because of the mild weather and the availability of natural food. We did pick up a Great Spotted Woodpecker perched in a tree and a Goldcrest, whilst 4 Fielfare flew over and we flushed a Green Wodpecker hidden in the grass. We continued our was to the Tower hide. The grazing marsh was flooded and looked like an extension to the lagoon.

Flooded grazing Marsh

Flooded grazing Marsh

We did find two Common Snipe on one of the islands and a pair of Eurasian Stonechat on the grass banks.

Common Snipe (photo by Keith)

Common Snipe (photo by Keith)

Suddenly there was a call that a Eurasian Bittern was in flight over the Northern Lagoon and we were able to see it come into land at the edge of the reed-bed. It was at a distance of approx 800m but it remained perched long enough for everyone present to get a sighting and some very long-distance attempts at photographs before it disappeared into the reeds.

Distant view of perched Eurasian Bittern (photo by Keith)

Distant view of perched Eurasian Bittern (photo by Keith)

As time was getting on we decided to make our way over to the hide nearest where the Bittern had landed in the hope of getting a better view if it re-appeared. On the way we found a small party of Mandarin duck.

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Arriving in the Wildside hide we were informed that we had missed seeing the Bittern by 5 minutes but at least it was still active and there was a chance it would reappear. Eventually I saw a large brown bird fly from the reeds and land behind vegetation – surely the Bittern and sure enough Keith looking from a different angle was able to confirm. It never quite came out from beyond the vegetation but at least we could get some photographs. After 5 minutes it disappeared back into vegetation and we decided to call it a day content with our days birdwatching.

Eurasian Bittern

Eurasian Bittern

 

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
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 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)
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)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

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