Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday 26th March

It was a bright sunny morning with scattered cloud for my walk today. There was a slight westerly wind blowing and the clouds that were in the sky looked to threaten with rain!!

More and more birds are joining the dawn chorus now, and this morning it was fantastic to find 3 warbler species. The most numerous were the Chiff Chaffs, with 9 birds in total being recorded around the park. As I approached the boundary of Mote Cottage, the rich fruity notes of a male Blackcap (72) began to rise from a ivy-clad Ash tree – the first of 2 individuals noted today, the other being heard in the trees behind the old pond. The third warbler to be found was a Willow Warbler (73). I absolutely love the song of the Willow Warbler so it was a joy to find a male singing from the willows next to the Inlet on the eastern section of the Lake.

Nuthatch (male)

Other notable species were 5 Treecreepers singing, 4 Goldcrests, 4 Nuthatch were heard, 9 Redwing was spotted passing through heading east, 3 Jays were seen, 5 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were drumming first thing, 3 Green Woodpeckers were noted, and the Little Owl was in its usual Oak tree. At least 21 Mediterranean Gulls were roosting on the Old Showground (top playing field) with at least 130 Black-headed Gulls and 18 Common Gulls, and more Meds could be heard amongst gulls flying over and above the playing fields too!!

Old Showground - the top playing field
(was the site of the Kent County Show before it moved onto Detling Hill and was also the site of the Royal Show for a few years during the early 1900s. The white dots on the grass are gulls, and the blue and grey building at the back is the Maidstone Leisure Centre - known to park regulars as 'The Starship Enterprise'.)

A Grey Heron was seen flying east over the valley of the River Len, 2 Cormorants were spotted flying north, and on the Lake were at least 5 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Mute Swans, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were with the handful of Black-headed and Common Gulls, and a Greylag Goose – possibly one of the birds from Tuesday – was following the domestic Greylag/farmyard Goose around. (For the past 3 years there has been a resident pair of domestic farmyard/Greylag Geese on the Lake – which I do not record on my patch year list.

Horse Chestnut bud

Also of note were Mistle Thrush and Treecreeper carrying nesting material, Starlings were watched investigating possible nest sites, frogspawn could be found in the old pond, and the buds of the Horse Chestnuts have begun to open.


Adam said...

Fantastic number of Med Gulls Simon - guess they'll all be off the fields during the weekend, selfishly wondering if any will make it my way! Do they ever come to bread on the lake?

Great Nuthatch pic - rarely see them off the side of a tree.


Simon said...

Hi Adam, 1 or 2 Meds do visit the duck feeding area every now and then. I've never tried taking bread onto the playing fields to feed the gulls, however I will do that next time I visit!!

Greenie said...

Simon ,
As Adam said , a very unusual shot of the Nuthatch , and a very good one too .
Still waiting for first singing Blackcap and Willow Warbler here .

Next Event - TBA