Monday, 28 May 2012

Week ending 27th May

Didn't get much chance to do a lot of birding at the weekend , just an early morning visit on Saturday. It was pleasing to see that both pairs of Coots had young with at least 7 between them.The Great Spotted chicks are looking close to fledging. The story around the lake was one of nest building and chick rearing.
On the insect I had my first Hairy Dragonfly of the year and also Large Red Damselfly.
Back home there were 2 recently fledged Blackbirds and a second brood of House Sparrows.
                                               Blackbird fledgling

                                                   House Sparrow

Monday, 21 May 2012

Summary of the last 10 days

Work and the weather have conspired to limit my birding in the last ten days but the 15th did at last see me add Turtle Dove(103)  to the year list.
On saturday the 13th I went with Phyllis, my wife, on a trip to the London Wetland Centre. Not much was seen in the way of bird species although there were masses of Swifts and apparently a Pallid Swift which we didn't connect with. It was however a great place to photograph Marsh Frogs(see picture above).
Back on home turf the story of the week has been that of birds fledging. There have been lots of Starlings around the village and down at the lake one of the Moorhen pairs has appeared with 9 youngsters.A few of the Mallards have had broods but sadly most have already perished. It was nice to see one of the Mandarins on the lake with 7 ducklings.
                                                               Mandarin with ducklings in tow
Finally i've attached a photo of a recently fledged Wren which was hiding in the lakeside vegetation.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Had a quick walk down to the lake this evening. the overcast conditions had brought a flock of around 30 House Martins & 6 swallows onto the lake.One of the coots was sitting tightly on her nest( presumably on eggs). Despite the gloom 3 Reed Warblers were singing as was a Garden Warbler from the cover at the southern end of the lake.
Five Mandarins were tucked under the trees by the boathouse.
After chatting to Andy( a fishing friend) I thought I would go around to the sheltered side of the lake to check out the far corner. I was soon glad that I did as flitting around in the lakeside trees was my first Spotted Flycatcher(102) of the year.
Not a bad little visit.
I didn't manage to get any pictures today but here's one from the weekend.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Saturday 05/05/12

All the usual suspects were seen today but still no Turtle Dove.
My morning was however brightened up by a small bird which flew up and perched on the top of a tall tree in the field behind the pumping station in Furnace Lane.
As I lifted my binoculars I saw a superb male Whinchat(101). Although I very often get one or two on my patch in the Autumn this was the first Spring record so I went home a very happy man.

Friday 04/05/12 at Furnace Pond

Spent the day fishing at Furnace Pond, although the fishing wasn't very good it gave me a chance to spend some time there watching the local wildlife. The drizzle in the morning brought plenty of Swallows plus 3 Sand Martins and a couple of Swifts. There were also 2 Cuckoos about one of which was my first female of the year which was emitting its strange bubbling call as it flew around. The local Willow Warbler was singing on and off all day as was a Lesser Whitethroat(98) and a couple of Reed Warblers.
Twice the Hirundines were disturbed by my first Hobby(99) of the year as it shot over the lake.In the middle of the morning I picked up on the call of a Common Sandpiper(100) and was pleased to see not one but two drop out of the gloom and onto the lake margins.
Sitting about in one spot for a few hours was very productive as a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker returned to the oak tree I was under a couple of times calling as it did so.
Late in the afternoon two flocks of Herring Gulls totalling 29 (11 + 18) went over.