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Old Sunday 6th December 2015, 13:21   #1
passerdomesticus
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Roundhay Park Bird News

December 5: 12 goosander on the Upper Lake, including 4 drakes (09.00). Tony
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Old Sunday 6th December 2015, 16:48   #2
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December 6: 14 goosander (7 male, 7 female) on Upper Lake, 15.30 pm
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Old Sunday 6th December 2015, 16:52   #3
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It's lovely to hear news from the park... I lived not too far away in the '70s at Thorner.

Goosanders are great birds, aren't they - one of my favourites to see on the river here.

Thanks Tony.
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Old Monday 7th December 2015, 14:55   #4
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Hi Delia,

Yes fantastic to see them at close quarters - they are very tame considering the number of people walking around the pond / lake. No chance to go today - I am really hoping for a Med gull in with the common gulls but we shall see.

Best for now,

Tony
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Old Tuesday 8th December 2015, 20:35   #5
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Don't get down there as often as I should given my proximity. However that will change come 2020 when I will be making extremely regular trips to the Park and Gorge as I will be retired by then and will be compiling records to go into my proposed book on a year at Roundhay Park.
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Old Tuesday 8th December 2015, 22:06   #6
passerdomesticus
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Great news Keith, although 2020 seems a while away (not certain I'll still be counting the goosanders there then !).

I will keep chipping in records as and when time permits. Do you happen to know when the last records were of birds like hawfinch and lesser spotted woodpecker from the Park ? Tony
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Old Wednesday 9th December 2015, 09:44   #7
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No idea Tony, nothing in YNU Bird Report for the years 2006 to 2012 (still waiting 2013 to be issued). The (now defunct) Leeds Birdwatchers Club used to issue a yearly report and would have records from Roundhay Park - sadly I have only 2 of those reports and no records in them. When I get time I will trawl the Yorkshire Birding magazine (again defunct) - got all but 3 issues of that covering the years from 1993, if I turn up anything will post on here.
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Old Wednesday 9th December 2015, 14:28   #8
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Dug out some info from Yorkshire Birding magazine - Lesser pecker Feb 1997 and 1998 single records in both years. No Hawfinch records so far
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Old Saturday 12th December 2015, 18:58   #9
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I used to live within walking distance of the park and visited fairly regularly. I was also one of the Recorders for the Leeds Birdwatchers' Club for 20 or so years, and have pulled up this info.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was regularly (though not annually) reported through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s but then just three reports in 2000 and one in 2005, with up to three birds at times. Drumming was heard in several years but breeding was never proved. Most of my records came from the area between the Waterloo Lake and the Golf Course. The decrease was probably due to fewer active birders visiting the park in the later years.
I never saw Hawfinch myself (indeed I have only had two sightings in the Leeds area in 40 years) but they possibly bred in 1960, with other records in 1961, 1962 and 1965 but since then just singles in 1977, 1991 and 2001.
Both species can be difficult to find and see even when known to be present. It is likely that Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is still around, but Hawfinch is almost a mythical beast in Yorkshire these days so the chances of seeing one in the park are slim at best. Hope this helps.
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Old Saturday 12th December 2015, 22:07   #10
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Thanks for that Paul - I will agree about the status of hawfinch in Yorkshire. Last one I saw was at Millington Woods when the rough-leg was wintering there. Never seen one in Leeds area
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Old Sunday 13th December 2015, 21:23   #11
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Thanks loiner and Keith on the updates - I wouldn't be confident on seeing either of them - but it gives me something to go at.

With the ongoing rapid decline in lsw, I wonder if hawfinch is nowadays the likelier ?

My best bird to date is probably little gull (2 at the same time), but I am an ad-hoc visitor to the park really...

6 goosander there today (2 drakes, 4 ducks), 31 mute swan, and some half decent gull numbers - the goosanders favour the Upper Lake....

Cheers

Tony
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Old Wednesday 16th December 2015, 17:53   #12
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Upwards of 2000 gulls on Soldiers Field this AM, mostly black-heads but there were a few commons in there. No black-backs and as I was driving couldn't grill them for a med.
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Old Saturday 19th December 2015, 10:45   #13
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Crikey. 2000 is a decent count. I will have to try and get out next week (been away most of week). Am I correct in thinking that common gull (rather than black-headed gull is a better 'carrier' species for Med. gull), in which case more common gulls would be ideal ? Or have I just made this up ?

I also see more herring gulls than LBBGs.

Common always present in lower numbers but were reasonable numbers the other day (don't have notebook to hand). Have there been many records of Med. gull from Eccup (I assume this is where everything heads to roost) ?
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Old Saturday 19th December 2015, 16:53   #14
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The bulk of the gulls do head for Eccup - there are usually a scattering of Med gulls found there each year - I was talking with a regular Eccup watcher earlier this year about the gulls, he said that best time is from late October through March at the evening roost. Really don't have a clue about carrier species for Meds, the long stayer at Fairburn was co-habiting with the black-headeds.
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Old Wednesday 23rd December 2015, 22:31   #15
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Keith, do you have an email address, and also email address for an Eccup regular I can contact about the gulls please ?

Roundhay numbers (brief visit) Saturday 19 December pm:

Goosander 2 female only (Upper Lake)

Other totals: Mallard 56, Mute Swan 30, Tufted Duck 10 (upper lake count only), Cormorant 1, Bh Gull c. 570, Common gull (few, <20?), Herring gull 2, Red Kite 1-2
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Old Saturday 26th December 2015, 14:54   #16
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December 26: At least 8 goosander (5 drake, 3 females) on Upper Lake, 9 am
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Old Sunday 27th December 2015, 22:07   #17
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December 27: 17 goosander on Upper Lake (5 males; 12 females) 15.30pm
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Old Sunday 10th January 2016, 19:12   #18
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Sunday 10th January

Some evidence of waterfowl build up during past week.

Upper Lake

Still 5 goosander present (incl. 2 males); maxima recorded over the last fortnight has been 17.
12 tufted duck
13 coot
44 mallard
3 mute swan
180 black-headed gulls.

Waterloo Lake

4 little grebe
3 great crested grebe
17 tufted duck
3 pochard (male)
1 cormorant
420+ black-headed gull
20+ common gull
40 mallard
31 mute swan
47 Canada goose
20+ coot
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Old Thursday 28th January 2016, 11:40   #19
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Still pair of goosander on upper lake today plus tufted duck, mallard, coot etc
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Old Wednesday 17th February 2016, 15:15   #20
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Roundhay 13th Feb

I hadn't really rated the wildlife at Roundhay but I was very pleasantly surprised when last weekend I saw 4 cormorant and 3 great crested grebe. It hasn't struck me as a place to see non-water birds but let me know if you have any interesting spots...
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Old Friday 26th February 2016, 21:41   #21
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Hi Rich,

Not sure it's the best place to see birds - too many dogs and dog walkers / walkers, and not much understorey.

My best birds have been little gull, sand martin, gadwall, Mandarin (presumably from Adel pop.), peregrine and buzzard. I only watch it as I only rarely have transport nowadays and I only live round the corner (but not around all the time) - not sure I would be coming any distance to watch it regularly ! Have to say that I haven't watched it very early in spring / autumn so might be interesting then (if you can beat the dog walkers up and out !).

ATB,

Tony
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Old Friday 26th February 2016, 21:45   #22
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There was still a pair of goosander present last weekend (Saturday 20th Feb), looking quite settled, on Waterloo Lake, but not been up since then.
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Old Saturday 27th February 2016, 20:31   #23
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Exactly - too many people full stop. I gave up on regular birding at the Park due to dog-walkers, numpties and ne'er-do wells who hang around there. I now generally visit early mornings usually before 8.00 am as then it is only joggers you have to contend with. Nothing against dog walkers who keep their pets under control but if your animal takes a leak on my tripod then I reserve the right to kick the mutt into the lake, numpties - yes I watch birds and yes all birds have two legs so asking if it is the two legged kind is gonna get you a mouthful of knuckles and the ne'er do wells - with nearly a grands worth of bins round my neck I just pray you never realise the potential. However you can get good birds down there if you are lucky.
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Originally Posted by passerdomesticus View Post
Hi Rich,

Not sure it's the best place to see birds - too many dogs and dog walkers / walkers, and not much understorey.


Tony
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Old Sunday 28th February 2016, 13:44   #24
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Keith

What are your best records from the Park ?

Best for now

Tony
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Old Sunday 28th February 2016, 14:24   #25
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Best records are nothing rare sadly - had a flock of pink-feet over a few years back which was good, willow tit by the castle and have had common sandpiper on mud at the top end of Waterloo Lake back in the late 90's. Good records now would be green woodpecker - not logged that for a fair number of years, lesser pecker records are historic and I'd love to find one there, owls of any type - have seen tawny just over the ring road along the footpath to Shadwell I've never had one in the park .
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