Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Hatchlands Survey.

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.
Moorhen

At the rear of the main house we added Pied Wagtail to a list that gave us a total of 33 during our two and a half hour stroll with four resident species missing from our previous visit in early February (Egyptian Goose, Treecreeper, Coot and Goldfinch).   FAB.

The Dawn Chorus Walk is on Sunday 2nd May, starting at 4.30 am from the main visitor car park. Cost is £5 per person, including 
bacon butty and tea/coffee at the end. Please book in advance with N.T. Hatchlands - 01483 222482.

7 comments:

  1. Loks like a great place Frank - enjoy the dawn chorus.

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  2. I love doing breading bird surveys. This looks like a great place.

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  3. Honker taking off ...: FANTASTIC....Wonderful moment and "supersharp"!!!!!

    ciao ciao elvira

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  4. Good picture of the Canada Goose, and the rest, really photographic.

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  5. Great walk Frank, and a good head count of species with some photos to accompany it, Good luck with the species count around a great walk which everyone should enjoy.

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  6. fair enough tally for a couple of hours out Frank.

    The dawn Chorus walk sounds tempting, especially the bacon butty bit!

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  7. TonyC. I'm just praying for decent weather!

    Steve B. Yeah, surveys are fun. Just a pity it doesn't have a river running thro' the park.

    Elvira. A lucky one..the other 5 went straight in the bin.

    Bob B. A chance shot of the 'honker' but I was lucky!

    Monty. Encouraging list of possibles plus a few weeks may bring a few more.

    Warren. Needs more water and rough pasture to attract more species. I just hope they get a good turnout. I may need someting stronger with the butty or even before we start!!

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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