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Old Sunday 6th April 2014, 22:13   #926
IanF
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A decent morning yesterday for a wander around the park. Things have been pretty quiet here the last few weeks with very little change or note but yesterday was a definite improvement.

The morning was dull starting off both for the weather and the birds with overcast skies and very little to see. The car park tables were very quiet when I arrived with Yellowhammer x2, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Chaffinch. A Moorhen kept appearing below the feeders and then disappearing back into the undergrowth.

Heading over to the lake there wasn't much to see. The lake itself was fairly quiet though it was nice to see Canada Goose x6 back on the lake. Ducks wise thigns weer quiet with a half dozen each of Tufted and Pochard plus a few Moorhen, Mallard and Coot. Only one Little Grebe seen. A Swan was asleep on one of the islands.

In the bushes around the lake were Chaffinch, Wren and Magpie. As I reached the hide I heard several Chiffchaffs calling from Faith Wood plus at least three Blackcaps. Best of all though was a Green Woodpecker yaffling from the direction of the sewage works. Rather than following North Beck as I'd intended I headed back over towards the sewage works. Half way there though the Green Woodpecker flew over head and disappeared over the hill where I could hear it calling so I backtracked.

The yaffling was quite deceptive as regards distance. It sounded quite distant but after crossing the hill and following the path onto the railway embankment I almost stepped on the Green Woodpecker as it fed on the ballast beside the railway. Luckily it didn't disappear altogether, it flew about 100m into some trees beside the railway and remained perched there whilst I took a few distant photos. It then flew back into the park and then over towards the sewage works.

Rather than follow the path to Greatham I headed back over the hill towards Faith Wood where I found Chiffchaff 12+ and a Willow Warbler and then another and then another. As soon as one started singing the others mobbed it. Again and again it happened. Meanwhile the Green Woodpecker in company with another flew back towards the railway. Rather than look for them again I carried on looking around Faith Wood coming across a few more Chaffchaffs and another three Blackcaps singing plus a Sparrowhawk, two Jay, several Goldfinch, Bullfinch x2 and a Kestrel. One Green Woodpecker few back towards the sewage works whilst the other remained by the railway. Both were calling, often at the same time.

After that I just headed back along to the car park seeing little else apart from one GSW.
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Old Tuesday 29th April 2014, 18:24   #927
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Despite a dull foggy start to the day the skies soon cleared and we had a lovely clear sunny morning. I spent a good couple of hours having a slow wander around the park seeing what I could find. I was in the main hoping to find at least one Grasshopper Warbler as there's been several in the marshes - but there was no sign of any yet.

There were however lots of singing warblers well spread around the park with doubles figures of Reed Bunting, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Other species seen in the wooded areas included Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Wren, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch and Robin.

I watched a pair of Kestrels mating on the pylons they've nested on the last few years.

The main lake held a good few more birds that of late with 40+ Tufted Duck, a few Pochard, Coot, Moorhen, Canada Geese and even Shelduck x7 which are an unusual visitor here.

No sign of the Kingfishers today and a walk along the cycleway towards Greatham only yielded one pair of Yellowhammer and a few Tree Sparrows back in the usual nest trees.

There were certainly plenty of butterflies around today with Small Tortoiseshell, Orange Tip, Speckled Wood in decent numbers. Peacocks were were 20+ quiet often in large groups feeding on dandelion flowers.
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Old Wednesday 24th December 2014, 19:25   #928
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A nice sunny morning for a wander over to the lake and back. Plenty of birds around today. It was nice seeing a drake Goldeneye on the lake especially as it gave close views. Very similar to one that over wintered here the last couple of years. As with the other ducks it seems to like peanuts!

Lots of Redwing (c.50) around the lake side bushes and along the beck back to the car park. Only a few Fieldfare though. A male Sparrowhawk did a nice fly-by over the lake.

A Little Egret was seen a few times as it moved along one of the becks.

Car park area was very active with Yellowhammer x5, Bullfinch pair, Reed Bunting 12+, Tree Sparrow c.10 being the most notable. A small flock of Long-tailed Tit were in the bushes by the car park entrance.
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Old Saturday 31st January 2015, 06:18   #929
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Yesterday was a fine bright sunny morning if a little chilly. The ground was frozen solid which was just as well with the way the paths have been so muddy.

Car park area - usual Tree Sparrows, Bullfinch, Yellowhammers etc. Peregrine flew south over car park. Two Jays by the visitor centre. No sign of the Stonechat that's been around the last few days either here or on the railway.

Main pond - mostly frozen but with a small ice free area way over the far side from the railway which was packed full of ducks. It was nice to see amogst them that the Goldeneye were m&f back again. Also Shoveler x8, Pochard x6, Cormorant x6. Sparrowhawk male perched in tree and two roosting Herons. Report of an otter on the pond seen last week.

Kingfisher female feeding from various perches along Claxton Beck/North Burn. LTT flock & Bullfinch pair in trees beside beck.

Very few birds seen away from the car park area.
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