Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday 12th February

Today I was leading a guided walk in Mote Park. The temperature was mild compared to what was forecast and brief sunny spells were enjoyed. To get to the main car park I walked through the park passing Jenner's Bank and the old Pond. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming in one of the Larch trees at the top of Jenner's Bank and a Sparrowhawk was displaying over the wood at the bottom of the bank. As I approached the old pond I noticed 2 gentlemen eagerly trying to locate the reported JACK SNIPE. I walked nearer and I realised who they were: Greenie - author of the 'Greenie in the Wild' blog - and Dave - a friend, local wildlife enthusiast, and avid Mote Park-watcher - and they both informed me that they could not see the bird. Luckily the Jack Snipe was located quite quickly and so all three of us got views of this super little wader.


At the cafe I welcomed 7 members of the public who had arrived for the walk and after a brief speech we set off around the park. I pointed out the many conifers and evergreen trees whilst we all tried to spot the various bird species that can be found in the park during the winter. Our first stop was at the old pond.

As we approached the pond a female Bullfinch flew over and into the wood, and I could see Greenie was still standing along the picket fence which borders the pond. With a smile on his face and a thumbs-up signal I took it that the Jack Snipe was still in view and so the group managed to have some good views of it huddled in the vegetation at the back of the pond. On Jenner's Bank we saw 2 Jay and had a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming briefly before moving onto the Old Pleasure Grounds (the Yew wood east of Mote House). Here we spotted Goldcrest and Nuthatch among the 'commoner' species, and 2 Grey Heron were spotted perched in the tops of the Yews. Down by the footbridge over the Len we spotted Water Rail and shared great views of a Treecreeper. Several Siskin were noted and a group of 4 Redwing and a Mistle Thrush were feeding in the short grass on the side of the path.

Brilliant numbers of gulls - in the region of 180-200 - were on the Old Kent Showground (the top playing field), and a flock of 5 Tufted Duck, 19 Pochard and a drake Shoveler - the first of the year - were viewed on the Lake from the Golf Course.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Sounds like your crew had enough sightings to please.....not sure you ID of Greenie as a ''gentleman'' was quite accurate though. :-)

Next Event - TBA