Saturday, 21 November 2009


There was a lot of bird activity around the hedgerows and bushes near the park pond for a change on Saturday 21st. Sitting in the bird hide provided an ideal place to watch several flocks of finches as they flew around the area and perching up in the trees.

There was a mixed greenfinch and chaffinch flock with about 25 birds of each species, flying back and forwards between hedgerows and copses near the pond. A similar sized flock of goldfinches were spending a bit of time in the alders as well flying around several times too. A flock of 21 fieldfares perched up on several bushes and trees too, calling out with their harsh scalding call-notes whenever they flew off. It was nice to get the first close views of them this autumn as they sat up on a near hawthorn bush.

Later in the day a sparrowhawk flew out of the copse at the back of the pond scattering all the birds. Towards the end of the afternoon as the wood pigeons gathered to roost, 20 stock doves were noticed arriving at the copse to roost too. A water rail called briefly from the pond in the morning.

Earlier by the car park a redwing, reed bunting were in my back garden briefly while 2 lesser redpolls and 8 siskins flew over calling.
Andy Field wasn't able to find any snow buntings at the Point although 4 rock pipits were noted.

Martin Cock was lucky enough to see 7 twite perch up on a small tree by the Maydays seawall on Saturday morning. The flock was seen to fly west and disappeared out of view on the large Maydays saltmarsh. Another single twite was seen in a flock of ten linnets - its purple rump easily discernible.
Four fieldfares flew west over Firs Chase in the morning calling as they passed.

On Wednesday 18th Martin saw a ringtail hen harrier and a peregrine on Langenhoe, while ten marsh harriers were seen coming into their roost.

Despite the relatively clear night sky and heavy overnight dew, there were a few more moths noted than was expected. This scarce umber pictured above was the first of this early winter period. It's been recorded here before in ones or twos in previous winters.

This worn and rather plain looking moth is the sprawler which hasn't been recorded here before. It was one of several moths that were found in the morning amongst the dew-laden grass and leaves a few feet from the trap rather than inside the trap. Also noted were mottled umbers, feathered thorns, silver-Y, large yellow-underwing, yellow-line quaker and December moth.

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