Posts Tagged ‘Tufted Duck’

A Bank Holiday Monday morning visit to the Kent Wildlife Trust reserve at Sevenoaks to look for Little Ringed plover and other migrants.

The reserve is based around two large lakes which were originally dug for sand and gravel extraction. My first stop was at the hide overlooking the west end of the main lake. This was where the Little Ringed Plovers had been seen the previous day but there was no sign this morning. More common birds were present including Tufted Duck, Teal, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe and a single Mute Swan.

Eurasian Teal (m)
Wood Forget-me-nots

I then walked through the wood to the hide at the other end of the main lake but only saw the same species. Blackcaps were singing in the trees but no other migrant warblers were heard. My final stop was at the hide on the second lake. Here there was a group of Greylag Geese. The feeding station was not busy and only a couple of Blue Tits, a Great Tit, a Dunnock and a Magpie visited whilst I was there.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail (Pied) (Motacilla alba yarrellii)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)

The snows of the weekend have vanished and it is something like spring weather again! So week 3 of the invertebrate surveys around the Tarn. I was fortunate to find 2 Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees. They are usually very active at this time as they search for places to make their nests, but one was so busy exploring a potential site that it allowed me to get some photos.

 

I had not seen the Grey Wagtail in the garden recently but I found one by the Tarn

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As I approached the eastern end an adult Grey Heron took to flight but I was surprised to find a juvenile fishing near the reed-bed.

Tufted Duck (Top) Greylag Geese (bottom left) and Eurasian Coot (bottom right)

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

The second week of the Spring / Summer surveys and the weather is better than last week, so hope springs eternal for some Queen Bees out prospecting for nests. In the far corner of the Garden, I am lucky as a queen White-tailed  Bumblebee flies past and heads out towards the Tarn.

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White-tailed Bumblebee. Photo by Siaron James (https://www.flickr.com/photos/59489479@N08/)

Unfortunately was rather a false dawn as that was the only Bumblebee I would see on the whole walk.

Still, there was plenty of action down at the Tarn where the Geese and Ducks are starting to stake out territories and much squabbling and chasing were evident as they sort out the pecking order for choosing their nesting sites. Another good sighting was a House Sparrow, once the commonest garden bird, but not at all common here in recent years – I can probably count on one hand the number I have seen around the Tarn in 17 years of recording.

 Mallard (top left); Greylag Goose (top right); Moorhen (centre right); Tufted Duck (bottom left) and Coot (bottom right)

 

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Rock Dove [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)

White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

A few days birdwatching with Keith in Dorset. On our arrival in Weymouth we dropped our luggage off at the accommodation and headed out to the RSPB at Radipole Lake, a nature reserve won the lower reaches of the River Wey as it enters the town.

Radipole RSPB reserve

Radipole RSPB reserve

Walking along the entrance path we are greeted by a chorus of Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler all in song, although they all contrive to stay out of sight in the reed-beds. A distant Marsh Harrier was seen and 3 Common Sandpipers were located on an island in the river.

Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Returning back to the reserve centre a Greenshank and 2 Black-tailed Godwits were feeding on the mud exposed by the receding tide.

Common Pochard

Common Pochard

 

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
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)

Decided to go out for a walk by the River Cray. Starting at Footscray High street I followed the course of the river as it wound through Footscray meadows all the way to 5 Arch bridge.

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows approaching 5 Arch Bridge

R.Cray @ Footscray Meadows approaching 5 Arch Bridge

The weather was pretty awful and it rained for much of the way, but by the time I reached the bridge and the main pool the sun had come out.

The main pool from Five arch Bridge

The main pool from Five arch Bridge

Unfortunately it was very quiet and apart from a single Little Grebe and a single Great Crested Grebe there were only Mallard, Tufted Duck and Coot to be seen along with a family party of Mute Swans.

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

JUvenile Mute Swan

JUvenile Mute Swan

Coot

Coot

I then went onto another stretch of the Cray a few miles away at Hall Place but here the story was the same and it was very quiet. It was very noticeable how much water was flowing down the river, no doubt as a result of the recent rainfall.

R.Cray @ Hall Place

R.Cray @ Hall Place

So only 22 species for a three hour walk but lovely countryside and the soup and bread at Hall Place was a fine antidote to the cold, wet weather

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
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 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 Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

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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)

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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)

Decided to visit some of my local sites on the River Thames to see if there was any sign of migration. My first stop was East India Dock.

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The chances of seeing anything did not seem high as there was a very strong wind blowing down the river. This is an excellent local site for Shellduck and there were 6 present on this occasion. One male was being extremely aggressive and chasing all comers around the basin if they got too close. He almost drowned a poor Coot when he landed on top of him – The Shellduck is probably about 6 times the weight and size of a Coot but the Coot managed to extricate himself and escape. Apart from this there were small groups of Teal and Tufted Duck, but no waders. I learned later in the morning that a half hour before I arrived a Little Ringed Plover (a rare summer migrant and breeder in London) had been present on the islands.

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

Magpie

Magpie

Common Pigeon

Common Pigeon

On then to the Greenwich Peninsular and a visit to the Ecology Park. Like East India it seemed pretty quiet with only the resident birds present. There were no early butterflies to be seen probably because of the high wind and consequent cool temperatures. But great to hear all the bird song.

DSC03296

Coot

Coot

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Back home the Green Woodpecker could be heard calling. I haven’t seen him yet but he has been heard most days this week.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
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)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
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)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

White-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

The council have decided that it is now safe for people to visit the Tarn again after the recent bad weather and flooding. It is still very slippery and they have posted notices warning about the dangers of being too close to the edge of the Lake.

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It was fairly quiet on my first visit of 2014 with only a few birds present. It will take a few visits to judge if the weather has affected the populations here. It was good to be able to get back and take stock of this important area in my patch.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Coot

Coot

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

However some species had already turned their minds to the coming spring. This Ring-necked Parakeet inspecting a prospective nest hole

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The female Blackcap continues to put in appearances at the feeder but it is now 6 weeks since I last saw the Male, so he may not have survived the bad weather. It is only in recent years that this warbler has begun to winter in the UK in increasing numbers and so may be more vulnerable to extremes in weather.

Blackcap (Female)

Blackcap (Female)

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 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)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)