Sunday, 6 June 2010

May Ticklist Update!!!!

How on earth its got to june already i don't know but there you go, time flies!

After the influx of migrants during april, everything sort of slowed down during may. Everything was still busy due to the fact that the breeding season was in full swing, and lots of species were seen, but during this month, the year list only got 3 more additions

  • Lesser spotted woodpecker - a lifer for me - a pair nesting in a treehole at wollaton park
  • House Martin - the last hirundine to appear (for me anyway) with several birds seen over the main lake at Colwick Park
  • Turtle Dove - a UK first for me, having seen them in spain before, a turtle dove was seen around my friends house in linconshire on the 29th of may, purring away. This was a very special sighting for me, lovely and now very rare bird in britain.

So now the list stands at 108. I'm hoping to get a few more over the summer, as hopefully i'll be travelling to a few places around the country to see some different species, starting with bristol and london in a few weeks time (hoping to go to the London Wetland Centre, Hampstead Heath and WWT Slimbridge!)

Colwick park, May 27th

This was my last trip of may, and the first since finishing university. I didn't have very long as i left quite late and had to be back by 4 for work, but still had a good day.
Colwick is always a good place to go birding, as it has a good mix of woodland and lakes which encourage a reasonably good diversity of birds, but it also has some good areas with wildflowers and shrubs which attract a range of invertebrate species too. It can be very busy, but if you catch it on a quiet day, lots can be seen.
At the bridge near the entrance was the usual collection of common wildfowl, mostly mallards, but with a few moorhens and coots thrown in too. There were some juvenile coots on the edge of the water which i managed to get a couple of pictures, and a couple of male mallards presented a photo oppurtunity too.

At the carpark there is always a large number of waterfowl, usually Canada and Greylag Geese, and today there were plenty about, with a lot of Goslings too. A Mandarin duck and a Muscovy have been present here for a few months too.

There were lots of Swifts flying over the lake today too, there must have been nearly 100 of them, and i tried in vain to get a good photo of them flying, as they were very fast and it was only really possible to get them in the distance, i'll give it another go soon though, its a nice challenge!

Walking through to the other side of the lake, i went onto the peninsula with an area of scrubby trees and bramble, where it was alive with the sound of birds. Some elusive Blackcaps were singing loudly but i couldn't locate them, and there were also several Chiffchaffs about. Most abundant however were Long Tailed Tits, and there were many juveniles, flitting about catching insects. They remained in the branches though so it was difficult to get a good shot.

This Canada Goose family came to the bank to feed too.

At the end of the peninsula i scanned the lake for hirundines and found many birds catching insects over the water, there were mostly Sand Martins, but there were also small numbers of Swallow and my first House Martins of the year too! There were also several Common Terns feeding in the distance too.
I had a good look around for invertebrates in the hedges and ditches too and was rewarded by a few species, some of which provided good photo oppurtunities. Here's a few.
This is a Soldier Beetle species

Female banded demoiselle

Small tortoiseshell caterpillars

Ladybird sp.

Near the marina on the trent, there were a few more birds, a few Reed Buntings were scared off as i walked past, as they were feeding on the riverbank. A few Pied Wagtails and Starlings were feeding on the grassy banks. A look at the lock resulted in a few Cormorants, more Blackcaps and a Song Thrush, and as i walked back to the entrance, there were several House Sparrows in the hedgerows.

35 species of bird seen, 1 year tick :)

Bestwood 22nd may

Continuing the heatwave weekend, i went to Bestwood country park for the first time since i saw a firecrest there in february. it was pretty busy today so a lot of the birds were heard but not seen but i still had a good day.

started off at the butlers hill tram stop and walked up to leen pastures - saw around 20 house sparrows in the bushes and there were several singing blackcap. not much in the woods aside from a few singing chiffchaff and willow warbler as well as a jay feeding in the copse near the feeding station. saw my first damselfly of the year too, think its a common blue.

mill lakes was very busy but managed to see a bit. more blackcaps were singing, and a willow warbler was seen feeding in the trees on one of the islands. watched a coot brutally pecking a fish to death, surrounded by its blood too! grisly. no sign of the pink footed goose (would have been a lifer) but the mandarin was there, thinking it was a gosling, its pretty much the same size as them now. several swifts over the lake too.

walking through to the pit tip, there were more willow warblers, and 3 whitethroats were seen too. up on the pit tip there were lots of willow warblers (!) in the plantations, 3 stock dove drinking at the puddle. lots of starlings over the pit tip, around 10 meadow pipit, and 2 skylark. saw a small heath butterfly too, a new one for me.

a good day in all, it was nice to be back at the park and will definately be back, maybe on a quieter day though.