Thursday, 15 October 2009


A dark and moody start to Thursday 15th with this shot of the sun just breaking through the clouds, from the park early in the morning. The day ended up being quite sunny and warm despite the hint of a northerly breeze.

A glance out over the mudflats at the end of the day produced distant views of a flock of 80 black-tailed godwits and also 50 avocets feeding along the outer edge of the mud. A couple of little egrets headed east off the mud to the evening roost.

There was a good sized group of wigeon on the park pond with 60 birds there late afternoon, along with 50 mallard, 4 shoveler, 6 gadwall and a tufted duck. On the grazing field pool a black-tailed godwit fed amongst the 20 moorhens while 4 snipe flew onto the grass field beyond. A rock pipit flew along the seawall calling.

In the bushes by the pond a blackcap was noted while a lesser whitethroat seen is a very late record for here. Several chaffinches around the car park area with 20+ birds checked out as they perched up on bushes. Martin Cock reported a sparrowhawk hunting along the lesser whitethroat hedge and he also saw 3 stonechats at the Point.

A male brambling was watched feeding on rowan berries on a tree in my back garden in the park on Wednesday morning. It provided great views for a few minutes showing off its orange chest, in the company of the twenty chaffinches. One or two bramblings fly over the park each autumn but very few come down to the park to refuel. There seemed a noticeable increase in blackbird activity with about 20 birds in the car park area, while 6 redwings flying off strongly from one clump of bushes were the first of the autumn here. Two lesser redpolls flew east over the car park calling during the morning.

In the grass field just on the north side of the park a swarm of 1000 starlings were continually on the move as they searched for food on the ground. Every so often the flock would stop chattering, rise into the air with an audible whoosh, as when a kestrel passed by, before settling down to continue feeding and the noisy chattering.

The recently sown wheat fields beside Bromans Lane to the west of the park, are attracting lots of birds such as the big starling flock as well as rooks, jackdaws, carrion crows, various gulls, wood pigeons, 400 golden plover, 50 curlew and 100 lapwings, as well as a few skylarks and meadow pipits.

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