Saturday, 24 November 2007

What a day 24/11/07!!!


Today was an absolutely fantastic day! Nonsuch school had something going on so the car park was jam packed however my nan managed to drop me off and I went round with Phil all the time. I wasn't expecting much but it seemed we chose the perfect route. I am going to make a record of it on my PC now so I don't forget it. We got 6 species which are considered rare for Nonsuch, including 2 firsts and a second.

After eventually finding a place to park, I met up with Phil and we started off, we checked the never disappointing 1st no dogs area. But this time it did disappoint, no Green Woodpeckers today and certainly no sign of any Lesser spotted Woodpeckers, not that we expected that. We carried on, to be honest, at this point we didn't think we were going to see much anyway, with all these people and cars in the car park. As we were scanning, two Mistle Thrushes flew over head.

The day's list started off with the usual Carrion Crows and Magpies with several over head Gulls, mainly Black-headed. Ring-necked Parakeets were not as obvious as usual, but we could still hear some in the background. We heard two Jackdaws amongst them. Jackdaws nest in the big old tree in the gardens with 4-6 pairs breeding in the summer. Not much really considering the high population that nests in the chimneys of old houses in Cheam.

As we went round the corner to enter the gardens we heard a high pitched weak 'see see seee' which we immediately recognised as a Goldcrest, the confiers they were in were huge and there were quite a few of them so locating any bird would be hard enough let alone such a quiet, weak, high pitched call. I suppose that is the purpose of it; to make them hard to locate.

I heard the louder and more powerful note of a Dunnock. And soon afterwards we heard the 'check... ... ... ... ...check... ... ... ... check' contact call of the Great-spotted Woodpecker. This was good, we were up to ten species in the first ten minutes, if that. Which is pretty productive for Nonsuch.

In the gardens 3 Jays showed well at close quarters, which I got some photos of (see above). There was an obliging Blackbird.

We moved on to the grassland area where there was a surprise Pied Wagtail, juvenile and the second official Nonsuch record. There were Long-tailed Tits, about 15 of them with a couple of Great and Blue Tits.

At the second no dogs area there was a Feildfare, presumably the same that Phil saw a couple of weeks earlier on. This confirmed the record and it is definitely on the official Nonsuch list now. There were a couple of Lesser Black-backs and a few Herring Gulls on the second no dogs area too.

We moved on to the ponds and there was nothing but a couple of Grey Herons flying around. We moved up to the scrubby areas up along there. This produced some Gold and Green finches and there were also some Stock Doves. We went back to the first park of the park and went behind the woods to Cheam park, here there were a few hundred Black-headed Gulls and a few Herring Gulls, there was also a Common Gull, probably a second winter, this was a first for Nonsuch! We then heard the unmistakable deeper crowing of a Rook, another a first for Nonsuch, though we did not manage to see it there was no doubt to its ID and it is now to be added to the official Nonsuch list.
We then returned to the car and went home very pleased.

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