Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday 17th May

A soggy, cool and overcast morning greeted me today.

8 Blackcap, 3 Chiff Chaff, and 13 Whitethroat were heard singing in the rain, 5 Treecreeper were noted throughout the Park, 2 Goldcrest were heard singing from within separate Yews, 2 Stock Dove were heard, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was spotted climbing up a Wellingtonia along Laurel Walk searching meticulously though the soft hairy bark for insects, a Pheasant was heard calling, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was spotted high up in a Ash on the eastern edge of the Lake, and 2 Spotted Flycatchers were seen, with one bird calling from the top of an Oak on the Lakes north-eastern edge, and the other calling from a Lime by the picnic benches by the boating ramp – incidentally, these are the first birds I have ever seen on arrival from Africa setting up territories, usually I have only seen them in the Summer when they are feeding their newly-fledged young. Most of the areas of short grass are now carpeted with buttercups, and with the mix of yellow and green provide perfect camouflage for the local Green Woodpeckers. On 2 occasions this morning they have only given their presence away when they decide to fly up and away ahead of you. Several gangs of Starling were also seen looking for grubs in these areas, and 2 Pied Wagtails were also seen chasing the insects that the rain disturbed from the flowers.

Birds seen on the Lake were 2 pairs of Canada Geese both with Goslings, 2 Mute Swans, 4 Great Crested Grebes, a Cormorant, and the countless Mallards, Coots and Moorhens.

1 pair of Canada Geese with 9 Goslings

There were 4 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Herring Gull seen around the Lake, a Grey Heron was seen along the Len, and 9 Reed Warblers were heard singing around the perimeter of the Lake. Lots of Hirundines were hunting insects over the Lake, with roughly 10 Swallows, 5 Swift, 1 Sand Martin, and 18 House Martins being seen.

Also of note were 2 Bream and a Tench being caught by a fisherman whilst I chatted to him, and Comfrey is now in flower.

Common Comfrey
Symphytum officinale


Warren Baker said...

Well done with the Spot-fly's Simon. Just keep scanning!

Steve said...

Good post Simon - spot. fly is very very scarce at new hythe....I wonder why as the area is alive with flying insects? any thoughts?

Simon said...

I think the habitat is probably the reason why they don't breed at New Hythe, though the Millstream and the area by the Sunken Marsh look like they may be suitable.

Kingsdowner said...

Interesting point about Spotted Flycatchers singing - most of see them when they're on twigs or branches, waiting for passing bugs, but rarely marking their territories.
I wonder why?

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