Saturday, 14 December 2013


The blackbirds at the country park have been making quick work this week of stripping the berries from the cotoneaster bushes in the car park. Up to twenty blackbirds have been foraging in one main flock in various corners of the park in recent days. At least one goldcrest is keeping company with a roving long-tailed tit flock. A couple of great tits were singing from bushes in the car park on a sunny Thursday morning.

The bushes had managed to keep their autumnal appearance of juicy berries and colourful leaf tints up to mid December. Most bushes and shrubs around the park have lost their berries although some sloes still exist as do lots of the rose-hips.

This is one of two red squirrel feeders that have been put up in the park, filled with a mix of monkey nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts and sunflower seeds. There haven't been any more sightings of red squirrels at the park since one was spotted scampering across a path about six weeks ago.

One or two frosty mornings during the week left a light covering of frost across the park, resulting in some eyecatching patterns.

A water rail was seen in the park fields on Wednesday feeding beside a ditch followed the next day by another water rail beside another hedgeline in the fields. The big wigeon flock of 800+ birds has been the main gathering on the fields over recent days, although they've been spending quite a bit of time on the sea too. The only brent geese in the area of the park has been the feeding group on the algae in front of the cliff in the early morning.

A very moody setting sun going down to the west of the park beach on Thursday 12th.
As the light faded, some very agitated oystercatchers called from the nearby mudflats as a peregrine passed close overhead. It was in hunting mode and singled out a dunlin with a number of fast stoops, forcing the little wader up into the air as it tried to out-manoeuvre the determined peregrine. The dunlin appeared to have some success in evading the mid-air talon snatch although both birds headed across the river and lost to view.
 This winter moth was resting on the window of the house at the park early evening on the 12th.

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