The large and varied flock of duck seems to have moved on, leaving several each of Mallard, Shoveler and Teal. Coot continue to be busy on the flood however, where a Water Rail was calling, and 3 pairs of Lapwing are defending territory. A Buzzard was soaring over the north side of the valley and a Barn Owl floated over the reeds while a Little Owl was yelping from a wood to the west. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for April 1st, 2006
At Castle Water the characteristic squeaking calls of the Cormorant chicks means that some have already hatched. Several Swallows and Sand Martins seen flying over the water and Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warblers calling. 140+ Sandwich Tern and 290 Oystercatcher were roosting at Ternery Pool. On Harbour Farm small flocks of Linnet have started to show up, and 45+ Corn Bunting are still seen inflight over Lime Kiln Cottage.
In the formal parts of the park the arrival of spring is signalled with banks of croci and the bursting forth of magnolia flowers. Higher up, in the muddy native zones, Wood Anemone and Dogâ€™s Mercury are unfurling beneath the ivy-burdened Oaks.
Between the two areas, in the alders around the overgrown and litter-strewn settling ponds, several Chiffchaffs and a single Willow Warbler are singing.
A male Grey Wagtail struts along the roof of the storage shed, but itâ€™s not singing and thereâ€™s no sign of a female.
Blackbird song fortifies the woodland chorus and some females fly with bills stuffed with nesting material.
Magpies seem far fewer but Jays are noisy and combative â€“ a string of 5 chasing through the branches at one point.
There are fewer Mallard on the ponds, but several lurking in the woods, a pair perched 4m up on the branch of a pine and a drake on the roof-ridge of a nearby house. Overhead, among the howling Herring Gulls and hurtling Feral Pigeons, 2 Sparrowhawks sail against the speeding clouds and a few flocks of migrant Woodpigeons are passing.
Other Woodpigeons are clattering in the ivy, browsing on Ash buds or, in the case of unlucky individual, dangling dead, feet tangled by fishing line, twisting in the wind above anglers disguised as leaf litter.