Sunday, 20 January 2008

20th January 2008

Hello again everybody.
I went out to Nonsuch from around 11:00am to 14:00pm today in the hope of better views of Fieldfare and to try and actually see Nuthatch and Goldcrest.
The first 10 birds of the trip were as follows:
Ring-necked Parakeet
Carrion Crow
Blue Tit
Wren (Heard singing)
Long-tailed Tit
Mistle Thrush

The Kestrel was seen mobbing a Carrion Crow high over the woods and there were two Mistle Thrushes around with a Jackdaw flying around nearby. I heard the Nuthatch's strange call again and managed to locate it in a flock of Tits (including a Goldcrest) and watched it climbing up and down the trunk of an old tree. There was a Great-spotted Woodpecker drumming and it flew into view later on.
Robins were seen in large numbers today with birds singing all around the park and the total number of Black-headed Gulls in the settled flocks on site consisted of at least 400 birds all together as well as a busy over-head passage.
In the very productive plantation next to the wood-chip dump in Cheam park behind the woods there were no Siskins (although there may have been some in the flock of Goldfinches I saw with the naked eye) or anything else of note. A quick look at some of the regular Cheam Park Gull flock revealed nothing else than about 100 Black-headed Gulls. There was a good over-head passage of Herring Gulls too, mainly consisting of 1st winters with a couple of adults occasionally. There were about 30 Starlings around Cheam park too and at least four Blackbirds.

In case you do not know, Cheam Park is a large open area, one side (divided by a fence running through the middle and a building) is short-grass football fields which gets large Gull flocks in the winter (Herring, Black-headed, Common and Lesser Black-backed) and the other side has more trees and garden flowers and the more open bits of it get small, sparse flocks of Gulls (no more than 50 Gulls at one time). It is really Nonsuch Park, just separated by the woods. The plantation next to the wood-chip dump is good for Finches and other passerines and just behind the woods, facing the dump is a small wild area with overgrown bushes and grass which is good for Warblers in summer.

We went back through the woods, passing the aviary and went round the gardens, seeing Goldcrest, Ring-necked Parakeets and Jackdaws.

We then went to the cafe and had a snack for a while before heading down to the 2nd no dogs area where we got great views of three Fieldfares. We went round by the ponds and heard a Grey Heron, I was surprised to see 3 Siskins land in a bush right next to me. We went through the scrubby area on the far left which I am trying to get more familiar with, because it is an excellent part of the park and I am looking forward to the spring and summer when there will be warblers like Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat and maybe even Garden Warbler or Lesser Whitethroat! I have only really discovered this area in the last couple of months and found it is the prime area for Redwing and Fieldfare (today and yesterday I saw about 30 Redwing and A few weeks ago I saw about 15 Fieldfare here). A Green Woodpecker with something on its leg flew past me.

We went back to the car after another productive, but less hectic day at the park with a list for the trip of 29 birds.

Aftter about an hour or two I left with dad to see the Bramblings at Canon Farm, apparently a Sparrowhawk had set them all up about 20 minutes before we arrived and the birds had dispersed. Although several silhouetted Chaffinches/Brambling flew over, it was impossible to tell from the dark shapes against the cloudy sky. I may see if dad can take me after school on Tuesday.

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