Thursday, 21 October 2010


It was a sunny but chilly start to Thursday 21st with the first frost in places around the country park. The sun seen rising here just after 7.30am continued to shine all day and with the wind swinging more westerly, there was a bit more warmth too. The cold autumn mornings normally bring flocks of wood pigeons and this one saw about 400 birds flying high westwards.

The latest arrival at the park was a Cetti's warbler in the bushes near the pond. Having logged the bird by recognising the loud explosive burst of song, it seemed pointless trying to wait around hoping to glimpse this little skulker. This is the third record for the park and the second for the pond. Hopefully soon the Cetti's warbler will become a permanent resident on the Island and will stay around to breed.

The kingfisher made its usual noisy appearance at the pond, whistling loudly on its arrival and perching in bushes overhanging the water. Thirty shoveler had gathered on the pond along with a few gadwall, 25 mallard and a tufted duck. Two lesser redpolls flew west over the pond calling as they went.

The pools in the fields continue to hold the main concentration of birds and when they all get into the air, a thousand birds create quite a spectacle. Rough counts have been 300 wigeon, 300 teal, 170 curlew, 160 redshank, 50 lapwing, 20 snipe, 15 shoveler with a few mallard, black-tailed godwits, moorhens, wood pigeons and starlings.

At the Point a wheatear, rock pipit, 3 reed buntings, 15 linnets, 10 little egrets, 130 avocets were noted with small groups of brent geese flying around.

A red admiral and 2 common darters were still on the wing enjoying the sunshine. Despite the milder afternoon temperatures, the evening's mothing was very disappointing. The only moths noted were 2 green-brindled crescents, a barred sallow, streak and a setaceous hebrew character. The clear sky and a very bright moon were to blame for the poor catch.

On Wednesday late afternoon, there was the usual big roost of wood pigeons but with at least 50 stock doves mixed in too. A sparrowhawk was seen earlier in the day, and the disturbance of the pigeon roost later in the day was probably due to one of these hawks. Two foxes were out enjoying the sun by the pond at the end of the day. A siskin flew over the car park in the morning and at the end of the day a little owl perched on a bush near the car park calling loudly.
Martin Cock visited Maydays Farm on Wednesday and noted a peregrine, wheatear and a stonechat there.

On Tuesday a goldcrest was amongst the bushes at the Point which seemed unusual, while over the fields were 10 swallows and 2 house martins.

The brambling was still in bushes by the pond on Monday and the garganey was still on the fields too. By the Strood on Monday evening 50 shelduck, 20 little grebes were noted and the interesting sight of 23 little egrets roosting on trees on Ray Island.

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