Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday 10th January

I had promised a friend that I would take him to see the Waxwings at Weirton Hill this morning, which meant a park visit was delayed until the afternoon. I arrived to a white and frosty park at midday and was there until 3 o’clock.


A Coal Tit was singing in a Yew along Laurel Walk, 9 Goldcrests were seen, 2 Bullfinch were noted – 1 by the steps to the Walled garden and another along the River Len – 2 Nuthatch were heard, 2 Pheasants were noted in the wet meadow area, a Green Woodpecker was heard, a Kestrel was perched in an Oak in the wet meadow area, a Sparrowhawk was observed in pursuit of and catching a Song Thrush along the River Len, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming, a Jay called from the wood near the Downswood entrance, and 6 Siskin were seen.


3 Kingfishers were seen along the River Len, 2 Water Rails showed very well by the carriage bridge along the River Len, 2 Grey Herons flew east towards Downswood, 1 Little Grebe called by the footbridge along the Len, a drake Teal was seen along the River Len, and 2 Common Snipe were spotted along the stretch of the River Len between the 2 bridges - my third record in the Park.


Birds of particular note on the Lake were 13 Pochard, 3 Canada Geese, and 1 WHOOPER SWAN. The Whooper Swan appeared to be a little less nervous than yesterday. It was always the last bird to come close when food was offered, coming to about 3 metres off the edge of the lake, and was wary and never took what was thrown. The gull flock produced at least 60 Black-headed Gulls, and 9 Common Gulls.


Warren Baker said...

Nice photo's today simon. I'm surprised to see you still have unfrozen water at the park, everything here is solid!

Greenie said...

Simon ,
Really like the Goldcrest shot .
Nice one .

Adam said...


That Goldcrest shot is fantastic - some really decent photos of late.


Kingsdowner said...

Great shots!

lee said...

nice sharp photos Simon can i ask what camera and lens do you use

Simon said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

Lee - I use a Canon EOS 40D and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM lens.

Steve said...

The Whooper is still there then. It'll be gone by nxt weekend! Great photo's Simon. The Wren and the Goldcrest are excellent.

lee said...

Thanks for the info , they are very sharp and it must take a lot of patience to get brilliant photos of gold crests

Steve said...

Nice pics Simon...good to hear the Whooper is still you reckon its genuine?

Simon said...

Thanks guys for the comments - really appreciated.

Steve N - I have spoken to a couple of other birders in the Park and they both reckon that the Whooper is a genuine wild bird.

It has not been reported venturing over to the "feeding area", and does not take any food thrown into the area where it has stayed for the past few days.

I have also compared the bill patterns, etc, to the Whoopers at Leeds Castle and the Whooper that Steve Lane photographed at Leybourne Lakes, and none of them match the Mote Park bird.

So I think I shall count it as a wild bird, especially as it has no rings, or neither damaged or marked wings. 99% of the time it is secretive and always keeps a respectable distance away, unless all the waterfowl are gathered by the bridge, in which case it feels safe in the numbers that are present there but even then, when I have been present, it hasn't ventured any closer than a few metres away.

Next Event - TBA