Sunday, 20 May 2012

20 May 2012

Well a nice pleasant morning weather wise didn't quite work the same when it came down to the birds seen today, yes it wasn't terrible but there just wasn't anything special to get the pulse racing, especially after the heart pumping Turtle Dove of just five days ago.

The weather was really strange today taking into account the MSN weather said it would be 2c with a ESE breeze and then on checking the BBC weather it said it would be 5c with a N breeze, normally with a north breeze it would be cooler than a ESE I would of thought, in the end the BBC was nearest to the facts, it was indeed a N breeze, although the temp was slightly up at 7c, cloud coverage has high up with a few blue patches showing, it was a epic visit from 06.00 til 09.50!!

I guess the biggest thing today was seeing quite a few more young birds about, last week Nick saw young Willow Tit and Long-tailed Tit, we have already seen young Mallard (10 today), Coot and Canada Geese, which are now up to 27 goslings, this includes a hybrid Canada x Domestic Greylag, other youngsters seen today included the first young Robins of the year and a party of young Great Tit.

Swift numbers were high today, it really was impossible to count them but we estimated a count of 250c, it really could of been much higher than that, with them around 30c House Martin, about the same number of Swallow and just three Sand Martin, last week Nick had a good count of 25. Warblers numbers were pretty much the same, six Blackcap, six Chiffchaff, two Reed Warbler, two possibly three Garden Warbler, just a single Whitethroat, were have all the Whitethroat gone from last year? lastly a single Willow Warbler which has been singing all week along the 'Avenue'.

On the lakes, Mute Swan are down to eight, four on the boating lake and the other two pairs in there usual breeding areas, just two Great Crested Grebe are present, this is another species that is having a bad year down here, from two breeding pairs last year, this year is looking like a big fat none! Although there are just eight Tufted Duck this is a huge improvement on a couple of days last week when Nick had a zero, this has happened before but it not very often and it's been several years since it last happened.

Elsewhere around the park, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over the visitor centre as did a single Starling, yet again another species which is well down on last year, it's not exactly a common species at Westport anyway but at this time of year you normally get flocks on the playing field collecting insects for their young, so far this year I don't think I've managed double figures for them. Three Pied Wagtails were around the park, three Willow Tit, a Grey Heron flew over the top pool and a couple of adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls were flying over heading NNW, along the canal side of the main lake a couple of Treecreeper and a male Reed Bunting was calling near Ted Heath Rocks, a Kestrel was hovering over the old sewage works and a Collared Dove was on here.

Earlier in the week Nick had a pair of Linnet by the visitor centre, these were Westport year ticks and took the year total to 107.

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