Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hackney Downs Park

Another productive hour or so over the park with a Redpoll immediately over heading west which was then followed by a steady westerly stream of migrants that included; 320 Woodpigeon, 35 Chaffinch, 14 Redwing, 11 Fieldfare, a single Greenfinch, and a single Meadow Pipit.  The morning was topped by another calling Brambling that cruelly evaded my sight.

Resident birds included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Goldcrest, and a count of 57 mobile Common Gull within the grassy areas.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Pitsford Reservoir

I had no regrets heading up to Pitsford Reservoir when news broke that the Cory's Shearwater had been sighted mid-morning.  The traffic was kind to me, always a bit of a risk when attempting to make use of three of our busy motorways.

The Cory's was not seen again after the initial sighting, which then made for a relaxing few hours at this top inland site.

It was teeming with wildfowl, best of which were four Greater Scaup of which one was a drake, but all of which were enjoying a late morning snooze.  Four Red-Crested Pochard were also present (three drakes), amongst the large groups of duck that included Wigeon, Shoveler, and Teal.  Decent numbers of Lapwing were present on the islands and shoreline.  A single Little Grebe was present off-shore.

It was great to see my first Goldeneye of the season, at least a dozen here that included at least three drakes.

A couple of Common Buzzard soared over being typically mobbed by the resident corvids, as did a Red Kite which looked altogether more serene.

Another surprise were the presence of three Great Egret spread out across the length of the north arm of the reservoir.

Hackney Downs Park

Managed to drag myself out into the mirk of another weekend morning, it was raining on and off for the hour I could bear standing watching for anything of interest passing over the park.

The first bird seen was a vocal Brambling heading west fuelling a bit of anticipation that it could be a good morning.  It was ok - remembering that this is my local park in the depths of East London.

Observations from 0700-0800 included a single Siskin associating with a small flock of Goldfinch, 105 Redwing, and a fly through Great Spotted WoodpeckerCommon Gull numbers have now increased to 13.

Two Goldcrest were busily skitting around a conifer near the Pavillion.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Hackney Downs Park

Wasn't as good as yesterday but there was at least a bit of interest in a watch from 0645 to 0815.

On the deck, the group of gulls contained eight Lesser Black Backed Gull, 55 Herring Gull, and six Common Gull.

Small groups of Woodpigeon were still on the move with 190 counted.  Other species on the move were 15 Redwing, 20 Chaffinch, 40 Goldcrest, a single Song Thrush, and four Meadow Pipit were particularly notable.

Other bits and pieces comprised a single Goldcrest, three Mistle Thrush, a single Jay, and a Sparrowhawk.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Hackney Downs Park

It's only taken me five and a half years to contemplate birding at Hackney Downs Park.  It's just next to where I live and visit it often, primarily for more physical recreation such as Tennis and Running.  It's quintessentially a municipal park, well maintained, and a nice place to be.

Birding though?  Well this morning I was overwhelmed by a rare Archimedean (?) moment and decided to head to the park and check the skies for any signs of migratory passage.  There has indeed been plenty of activity over the last week or so of the Hawfinch and Woodpigeon variety.

So I stood along the Cricket pitch and eyed the skies, and, it was really good!  When a couple of Meadow Pipit flew through, I began cursing why I hadn't done this a lot sooner.  Three returning Common Gull were loafing around on the dewy grass.

There were small groups of Redwing and Fieldfare, Chaffinch, Starling, pulsing through with half a dozen Pied Wagtail, a couple of Greenfinch and a prying Sparrowhawk.  A flock of Woodpigeon flew through, a continuation of the mass southerly migration for this species.

A decent group of titmice were also present along Downs Park Road, accompanied by a couple of vocal Goldcrest.

There was plenty to peak my interest.  I'm going to do this again tomorrow.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pwll-du, Gwent - Common Rock Thrush

Made it in the end.  It was cold and windy so I can't imagine how those hardy birders braved it yesterday during Storm Brian.  A lovely bird in such a beautiful part of the UK.

The Common Rock Thrush also had a juvenile Northern Wheatear for company.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Scillies - Day Seven

With a heavy heart we left the islands - but not without a final walk around Penninis Head.

Another phenomenon and brought in by the strong currents were decent numbers of Portuguese Man o'War strewn across the beach at Porthcressa.  Bizarre looking creatures but also extremely eye-catching in more ways than one.