This morning Tony joined me for a complete circuit of the 'Long Walk' at Hatchlands Park to record species and possible nesting territories in preparation for a 'Dawn Chorus' walk on 2nd May.
With a clear sky and a little nip in the air we started logging birds both seen and/or heard calling around the car park which included; Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackcap, Chiffchaff (the first of many), Jackdaw, Nuthatch, Blackbird, Wren, Song Thrush, Parakeet, Blue Tit and Great Tit.
Chiffchaff high in the treetops as usual.
Honker taking off.
A scan over towards Rookery Pond produced Mallard and then 'honk, honk' as two Canada Geese swiftly departed. The park is home to a very large population of corvids so Rook, Carrion Crow, Jay and Magpie soon joined the list as well as Pheasant and Woodpigeons when we scanned from one of the high points. A pair of Common Buzzard called and were later seen being mobbed by the corvids. A detour into one of the bluebell woods, its lush green carpet sprinkled with the occasional hint of blue, was eerily quiet until we picked up another male Blackcap in full voice. Around the northern boundary a number of species were also seen carrying nesting material including Chaffinch, Great Tit and a Coal Tit entering its nest hole. A Cuckoo was heard calling north of the railway track (not on Natonal Trust land). A Kestrel made a brief appearance dashing along the field boundary just as we were trying to home onto the very low-pitched, intermittent 'phu' or 'phu-ew' call of a Bullfinch. A flash of a prominent white rump and then a head on view, albeit within deep cover, showing its gorgeous bright-red chest and black cap confirmed our initial ID. A few moments later we saw both male and female together. Long-tailed Tits, Dunnock and of course Robin were also logged.
A scan over neighbouring farmland produced several Lapwings, numerous Woodpigeons and beneath my feet was a Comma butterfly looking decidedly tatty.
At Sheepwash Pond the main occupants were six male Mallards, a Moorhen plus a male Mandarin Duck who didn't wait too long before flying off to join his mate who we had spotted earlier as she flew over the woodland.