Friday, 31 January 2014

Big Increase in Goosanders

This morning we risked a very overcast East Park. Before everyone had quite assembled a Great Spotted Woodpecker called and then flew into the top of a very high Lombardy Poplar. Although the bird's call rang out clearly, rather disappointingly not one participant actually picked out the sound, and spun round to see the bird. This was a shame, as it was the only chance to see this species during the whole morning. 

Goosander [drake right]
Great Spotted Woodpecker
 Song Thrush (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
 Recoird shot of a Goldcrest (c) 2014 Richard Whateley
We had just passed the workmen's room when we heard a Song Thrush singing, so we stopped and tried to locate the bird. It was facing away from us singing towards a garden, but it did eventually turn and face us. We noticed movement in the small alder trees nearby and located a Blue Tit and a long staying Goldcrest. From here we turned 180 degrees and the 3 species of gull present were differentiated. 
Black-headed Gull (1st winter)
 Adult Black-headed Gull
 Common Gull (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
When we reached the model boating lake there was a Canada Goose, several Greylag Geese and plenty of Gulls. Rather concealed by the gulls was a female Goosander residing on the concrete edge, and then we noticed another pair at the back of the lake. As soon as they spotted us they were off, and shortly after the female jumped into the water and then swam away. 
Tufted Duck [drake]
 Tufted Duck [female] (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
The rest of the morning was similar to last week's visit. One difference was 13 Redpolls in the car park near the splashboat, a single Pink-footed Goose on the lawn, and 17 Goosanders spread around the lake.  This marks a massive increase from last week's single Goosander, but it seems some have been trying out the lake in Pickering Park.
Lesser Redpoll (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
 Pink-footed Goose
 Size Comparison Pink-footed Goose v Greylag (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
 Goosander [female]
 Goosander in flight [drake] (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
 Friday Unmentionables Doing Unmentionable Things
 Herring Gull taken with Canon 100-400mm lens (no lightening or contrast, only sharpened)
 Same Bird taken with Canon fixed 400 lens (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
In the very grey afternoon the star bird was a Grey Plover, which flew over South hide at N Cave Wetlands & tried landing on Reedbed Lake & then Island Lake before being seen flying east and low over a field to the north of the site. There were 3 female Goosanders and 2 over active drakes on Island Lake.

No comments: