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Archive for March 5th, 2006
200 White-fronted, 80 Barnacle Geese and an Avocet seen today by Pete Rouse
Over the last few days, ringtail Hen Harrier & juv Marsh Harrier have been seen and this morning a Short-eared Owl flew in off the sea.
More than 20 Velvet Scoter are still on the sea and up to 5 Scaup have visited the Pools. The Pink-footed Goose was present till Friday at least.
4 Ruff have been feeding among the Lapwings.
There’s increased activity at the Pannel Scrape, with drake Shovelers chasing in circles and Little Grebe trilling. A pair of Pintail were present on Friday.
The reedbeds at dusk emit a primaeval chorus of squeals and rattles issuing from Water Rails & Cetti’s Warblers.
A visit to the Castle Water Viewpoint at dusk proved very fruitful, providing excellent views of a Bittern in flight. This particular bird was behaving in a manner which I have read about but never seen, in that it was circling higher and higher while calling (a rather mournful hooting sound). This apparently is a prelude to departure, and indeed the bird eventually flew off high to the south, still calling as it went. Just previous to this, a Barn Owl was observed hunting over the reedbeds, making several plunges into the undergrowth, some of them very close to the viewpoint, while 18 Little Egret had flown into the roost before it became to dark to count them! The soundtrack to all of this was provided by three Cetti’s Warbler and at least four very vocal Water Rail.
Highlights earlier on in the day included a Merlin hunting on Harbour Farm, and three Mediterranean Gull and six Pintail (three drakes) on Ternery Pool.
The Cormorant nest building activity is increasing at Castle Water and can be easily seen from the viewpoint. If you dont know where this is look on the Wildlife Sites link on the left.
While the sunshine warms the open lawns by Dordrecht Way, smaller ponds remain frozen. In the steep-sided, sinuous valleys which converge at the top of the park, banks of rhododendron further shade the ice, which is littered with stones and lifebuoys.
The varied trees echo with birdsong, from the twittering of Greenfinches in ornamental evergreens to the detonations of GS Woodpecker high in the tall oaks of the gills. Everywhere now thereâ€™s a background throb of Woodpigeons while overhead sail howling Herring Gulls. Stock Doves are present at three sites. Read the rest of this entry »