Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thursday 7th June

It was overcast today during my visit between 8.30am and 10am, and although there was a light northerly wind, the temperature stayed quite mild.

During the visit a minimum of 2 Blackcaps, 6 Chiff Chaffs, 7 Reed Warblers, and 13 Whitethroats were singing.

Whilst scanning the Lake I came across one of the most extraordinary things I think I have ever seen. A Grey Heron was in the middle of the Lake, trying to swim and was, needless to say, not getting very far. This certainly is something I won’t forget. Other than this unusual sight I counted a minimum of 4 Mute Swans, 3 Greylag Geese, and 6 Great Crested Grebe with 3 young, together with the usual Canada Geese, Mallard, Coots and Moorhens. There is definitely a noticeable increase in gull numbers. There was a large flock of Black Headed Gull on the Lake, with 2 lovely male Mediterranean Gulls for company. There was also a large flock of 12 Herring Gulls and 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on and over the Lake. 2 Cormorants sat on the boating ramp, and another 5 sat on the island next to the Weir, a young Grey Wagtail was walking along a submerged tree branch in the Marsh, and a Grey Heron fished on the Lakes western edge.

Also of note were 2 Linnets on the short grass of the Pitch & Putt, 2 Green Woodpeckers were heard, 1 Pheasant called from the Meadow, a Grey Wagtail was walking about on the road by the Mansion Cottages, a Bullfinch called near the Downswood entrance, only the 1 Nuthatch was heard calling, a Goldcrest sang from a Yew along Laurel Walk, 2 Reed Bunting were calling from the Marsh, and a quick scan over the Park produced around 11 Swifts, 9 House Martins, a total of 3 Grey Herons, and the usual pigeons and corvids.

A scan of the feeding gull flock on the playing fields at 6pm produced 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, at least 50 Black Headed Gulls – with several first winter plumaged birds – and 11 adult summer Mediterranean Gulls which were very, very vocal. I soon departed at around 7-ish, after a child found it incredibly amusing to bound through the whole flock, scattering the birds in various directions, and carried on doing so each time they decided to return back to feed.

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