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Swanley Park 3rd Oct 2007

Posted Wednesday 3rd October 2007 at 11:09 by dantheman
Updated Wednesday 3rd October 2007 at 11:14 by dantheman
03 Oct 2007 9.00 to 10.25 foggy then clearing at end.

I went out to my local park for a Ďproperí (?!) birding session this morning after dropping the girlfriend off at work. 3rd visit (previously on a Sunday afternoon- heaving with the local general public, and a brief visit a few days later) since it is only 3 and a half minutes walk from the front door will make more of an effort to bird it regularly, even if the annual expected BB scarcity count, let alone rarity count, is probably going to be something of a negative number. . . .

Anyway . . . it was pretty gloomy, with the Woodpigeons and Collared Doves in the treetops being more a selection of shapes than glorious technicolour Columbids. I gave it a good go, but did not see much initially, probably more dog walkers than birds. Robins and Blackbird were calling, and a Dunnock and two House Sparrows in a bush which should have held a rare bunting were at least feathered denizens of the park (and neither are yet on my new garden list!). A medium grey passerine whizzing from one tree to another densely ivy covered one was most certainly a Blackcap, and then possibly a first for the autumn, a small angular thrush dropping suddenly from the sky and behind some scrubby trees had a definite Redwing like air to it. Too many dogs on the main green for any gulls, and on to the boating lake, where a Grey heron fishing in the shallows was nice. 80 or so Mallard and 7 Moorhen completed the picture until 3 Cormorant circled down out of the low cloud, warily completing 4 or so circuits before dropping down into water. Still wary, but they started to dive after a brief pause. I walked around the lake (well pond really), keeping a good eye open for rails and crakes of course, and to the other side, where a female Teal was another tick, as were two Grey wagtails on the bankside retaining logs. The Cormorants had meanwhile flushed a couple of times due to people passing by, but two remained when I left.
And on back to the start. I did not go far into the scrubby woods which lie extensively to the east side of the park, and forgot to go to the allotments, which is where all the rare buntings are hanging out at the moment . . . . The sun was now rapidly clearing the shrouds of white mist and the two Redwing in the tree near the start reassured me I have not totally lost it. A dull medium size passerine flushed from a bush which seemed to have a white rump turned out to be a very soggy looking Bullfinch. And two raptors just before I left were nice- a male Sparrowhawk being mobbed by the Pied Wags and a female Kestrel sitting on an old goalpost.

There were a few other common species seen or heard, like Green and GS woodpecker heard, Jays and Magpies common, and I forgot, 40 Ring Necked Parakeets flying over SE were good enough, 33 in one flock possibly the largest flock Iíve seen. As mentioned there is a bit of habitat, although itís disturbed a bit, and Iím not sure if there is much potential for stuff to arrive following migration corridors or turning up from other good habitats nearby. Can check out the OS map I suppose. Weíll see. Considering the postage stamp nature of my new garden (current list c.5 species, one of them being Zebra finch), might try and do this patch for a bit and see what kind of common bird list I can come up with
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