Posts Tagged ‘Sutcliffe Park LNR’

Keith was staying with us for the weekend and so on Saturday, we visited some of our local nature reserves.

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Our first stop was at Footscray meadows, a mixture of grassland and woodland along the banks of the river Cray.

One of our first sightings was of a Little Egret fishing in the river, but otherwise, it was fairly quiet – at least as far as wildlife was concerned – Saturday is probably not the best time to visit as it is a favourite place for dog-walkers and families.

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We made our way up river towards the five-arch bridge, which forms the head of a lake in the river, where Mallard and Tufted Ducks congregate together with Moorhen, Coot, Mute Swans and Egyptian geese. We also saw a Terrapin basking in the sunlight. These now seem to be a permanent resident of many of our lakes in the area, released by pet owners who no longer want them or who can’t house them when full grown. Walking further upstream from the lake, we heard a couple of Cetti’s warblers calling, but there was little evidence of any small bird migration.

 

Terrapin (left), Mute Swan (top right) and Egyptian Goose (lower right) 

Our next stop was Sutcliffe Park LNR. Here it was evident that the vegetation had grown well this summer as the marsh area was completely covered and impossible to see into. The highlight was a Little Grebe on the Lake.

 

Our final stop was my home patch around the Tarn. here we found 2 Little Grebes, probably an adult and a juvenile along with a Grey Heron. Keith heard a Grey Wagtail, which winters here each year, but we could not locate it.

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Little Grebes – adult (left and top right) and probable juvenile (lower right)

Grey Heron (left) and Coot (right)

 

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)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

On the way home this lunchtime I decided to stop off at Sutcliffe Park Local Nature Reserve. This is the only site in my local area for Reed Warbler, a summer visitor, and having heard of their arrival just north of us on the River, I was hopeful that there might be an early arrival here too.

Starling

Magpie

The Marsh area was very dry and with the rather scant vegetation, it seemed unlikely there would be any waders present hiding secretively in the channels (I did later hear from Conrad, another local bird-watcher, that he had seen a Common Snipe fly from the marsh earlier). It seemed remarkably quiet and there were no signs or sounds of migrant birds from the scrub or the trees.

Woodpigeon

The lake contained the usual common species and the Little Grebe was nowhere to be seen (no doubt busy with nesting in the reeds). The Reed-beds did contain some small birds but they all turned out to be the resident species and there was no sign nor sound of a Reed Warbler – Ah well that’s the beauty of wildlife watching – you never know what you are going to find – and there is always next time!

Tufted Duck

Mute Swan

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

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Later in the day, I went to our local nature reserve at Sutcliffe Park. It was a bright sunny frosty day. There was little to see in the marsh area, other than a couple of Moorhens, but the partially frozen lake was busy with a group of Canada Geese along with 2 Mute Swans, a flock of Mallard and some Coot. Both Black-headed and Common Gulls were also present.

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Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mallard (m)

Mallard (m)

Black-headed and Common Gulls

Black-headed and Common Gulls

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alongside the lake, a group of House Sparrow moved through the vegetation. Once numerous and the commonest garden bird in London they are now just recovering from a calamitous decline which saw them become a rarity. This is still the only place in my patch where they are regularly found.

 

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

 

 

Carrion Crow

Carrion Crow

 

Decided to go off and check out a couple of local sites this morning. My first stop was the local nature reserve at Sutcliffe park. The water level had certainly dropped since my visit last month, but the marsh side path still resembles a river.

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It was good to see a few Common Gulls amongst the Black-headed Gulls. despite their name they are not really very common, but this has become a regular winter spot for them. By the reed-bed, I spotted a flash of iridescent blue as a Kingfisher flew upstream. I tried to locate if it had perched up somewhere in the hope of a photo but to no avail. As I walked down towards the lake an inquisative Robin came to check out what I was doing.

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The lake was sparsly populated with only a few Mallard, Coot and Moorhens. Single Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls joined the Black-headed gulls and a Little Grebe was briefly seen. The star bird was an example of the European race of Great Cormorant with its white head (by comparison to the all black Atlantic race which is more common in the UK).

 

Great Cormorant (European race)

Great Cormorant (European race)

 

Coot

Coot

 

On the way back to the entrance I found a Little Egret and a Grey Wagtail.

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The second stop was at the Tarn. Although the algal bloom seems to have receded it is still present, but the good news is that there were 9 Greylag and 3 Canada Geese present and from the arguing and bickering going on, it certainly seems like they are preparing to breed here this year.

Greylag Goose

Greylag Goose

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
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)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

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Popped into Sutcliffe Park Local Nature reserve this morning for a quick visit to see what was present on the marsh.

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The river is in flood due to all the rain we have had (this is the main reason the wetland was created to be a flood-plain for the river). So it was difficult to pick your way round the edges avoiding the very boggy bits.

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Spent a lot of time scouring the channels in the marsh looking for Snipe (regular) and Green Sandpiper (seen earlier in the week) but to no avail. Some of the more common residents were still to be seen though.

Robin

Robin

 

Coot

Coot

 

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

 

Mallard

Mallard

The highlight of the visit was a group of 5 Common Gulls on the Athletics field. Despite it’s name it is not that common locally.

 

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)

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Stopped off briefly this afternoon at Sutcliffe Park Nature Reserve on the way home from a meeting. I wasn’t really planning to, but I was just passing and thought it was a good opportunity to have a quick look around. It was an overcast and cold afternoon but on reaching the marsh quickly located a Fieldfare sitting in a tree (My first winter Thrush of 2015). Unfortunately there were too many branches in the way for a photograph. Scanned through the other thushes in the area but only found Song Thrush and Blackbird.

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Otherwise the usual residents were present but did get some excellent views of Green Woodpecker feeding on the ground.

Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

Blackbird

Blackbird

By the time I reached the Lake the cold was beginning to get through to my bones (Naturally I wasnt really dressed for being out birdwatching) so quickly began to make my way back to the road. A Pied Wagtail was strutting along the path in front of me and seemed most reluctant to fly away as I approached.

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
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)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

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A damp overcast morning but went off in search of some winter thrushes at Sutcliffe Park LNR.

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A Grey wagtail was an early sighting on the marsh edge

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

Then I spotted a Snipe hiding in the vegetation.

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A large flock of Starlings were present and chattered noisily as they flew between their roost tree and the grass meadows where they were feeding

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There were plenty of Song Thushes about and a Mistle Thrush was seen flying away, but alas no Redwing or Fieldfare were seen. On the lake were a good selection of waterbirds including Greylag Geese which is the first time I have recorded them on this reserve.

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Greylag Goose

Greylag Goose

Mute Swans

Mute Swans

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
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)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
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)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Keith joined me today for a trip around some of my local birdwatching sites. First stop was the Tarn  I had been watching one of the local Sparrowhawks being harassed  by Crows whilst I waited for him to arrive and typically it disappeared from sight at the moment he did. It was good to see that the algal bloom has begun to recede on the Tarn – hopefully a sign of improving conditions although a man from the water-board who was testing the water confirmed that it still had a very low oxygen level.

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The Little Grebe seen 10 days ago was again present although it was tucked up against an island in undergrowth. We heard a Grey Wagtail call on two occasions during our visit but we could not locate it.

Then it was onto Sutcliffe Park LNR. Here the stars of the show were the dragonflies with over 20 Common darters and approx 6 Migrant Hawkers plus a single Comon Blue damselfly and a single Brown Hawker.

Common Darter

Common Darter

Our final stop was the Greenwich Ecology Park where the Kingfisher posed for us.

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Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

We found a Red Admiral on a bush by the Thames

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An intresting sighting was one of the boats from the Tall Ships festival still present on the river

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Finally The one that was not a bird. When first seen this piece of wood was doing a very good impression of a skulking Bittern!

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Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Next stop on catch up Thursday is Sutcliffe Park LNR.

Sutcliffe park LNR

Sutcliffe park LNR

Again Meadow Brown butterflies are the dominant species on the grasslands, but around the reed-bed I find a Broad-bodied Chaser, a black-Tailed Skimmer, 2 male Banded Demoiselles and a Common Blue Damselfy. A good variety of species but I would have hoped for a few more of each.

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An added bonus is a party of 6 Common Swifts and at least 1 Emperor Dragonfly hawking for insects over the lake.

A lovely sunny afternoon so went off to Sutcliffe Park LNR to look for Butterflies and perhaps some early Dragonflies (Hopefull- still a bit early by a couple of weeks).

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The usual residents were present and a few butterflies. I noted 4 species- Large and Small White; Brimstone and Speckled Wood. All were very active. As expected there were not any dragonflies yet to be seen. Walking back to the road along the river I noticed a small warbler flitting through the bushes. After a while it perched and I could see that it was a Willow Warbler (A first for 2014 and a first for me at this site). As I was about to walk away another movement caught my eye and a Kingfisher perched in the reeds (Also a first for me at this site). It stayed or about 5 minutes before flying off, Unfortunately the position of the sun and the distance I was from the bird prevented any photos.

Moorhen

Moorhen

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Returning home I found a female Orange Tip in the garden – my first record of the year in the garden although they have been around the Tarn for some weeks now. Its been much quieter around the garden especially for the small birds. Finches have become much less frequent visitors although there was a single Goldfinch today. I imagine they are getting down to the laying and incubation of eggs.

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)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)