Monday, 19 January 2015

Box End Park WeBS: 18/01/2015

It was Great Duck Hunt day in Bedfordshire so everyone was out counting wildfowl at the local waterways. This is done to try to get an overall view of the number of wildfowl in Bedfordshire. It is deliberately run alongside the WeBS weekend so that many of the sites are already counted.

It was a cold start with the temperature around freezing there were a good number of Lapwings at roost on the Spit when I arrived and as usual they all got up, swirling around, making it tricky to count. After various attempts I came to an estimate of 200, the biggest count of the winter so far. They stuck around for quite some time before heading off west. A few minutes later some of them were back and they settled back in on the Spit until just before I left the site.

A Snipe got up, while the Lapwings were swirling about, and did a circuit of the park before heading off east.

The 3 Little Grebes and 3 Gadwalls were a nice surprise and the Black Swan was back again, hanging out with the 10 Mute Swans.

Here are the morning counts for WeBS.

Black Swan 1
Black-headed Gull 8
Buzzard 1
Canada Goose 2
Coot  1
Cormorant 16
Gadwall 3
Grey Heron 2
Kingfisher 1
Lapwing 200
Little Grebe 3
Mallard 45
Meadow Pipit 4
Moorhen 3
Mute Swan 10 Pair with 5 cygnets and 3 other adults.
Skylark 1
Snipe 1

Total number of species: 17, Individuals: 302

Black Swan

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Priory Country Park: 10th and 11th January 2015

Priory Country Park: 10th and 11th January 2015: A brief update from the weekend: At the weekend the 8 Red-crested Pochard which had arrived on Friday were still around. I am told the mal...

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Box End Park WeBS: 10/08/2014

I just about squeezed in my WeBS count this morning before the heavy rain arrived, just got a little bit damp as I headed back to the car. Quite a few changes in the park where the Hay has been cut and the Spit has had a hair cut since my last visit.

I'm not sure what affect the cutting on the Spit had as their were 3 small Oystercatcher chicks last time, now there is just one well grown youngster with the 2 adults. I was pretty sure there were Common Tern chicks on there too but they may have been developed enough to fly by the time the cutting took place. There were certainly a few juveniles around this morning, perched on various bits of hardware around the lakes.

It was fairly standard stuff this morning although the Pied Wagtail numbers were good with a number of juveniles on site and the Coot numbers were impressive with 2 more new broods and 3 older broods as well as 19 adult birds. I also spotted one of the adult Coots with nest material so maybe still time for another brood! It's been an exceptional year for Coots in the park.

The resident pair of Mute Swans have moved onto the river with their 7 cygnets.

Black-headed Gull 1
Buzzard 2 Minimum count, possible family party in the area.
Common Tern 12 One dead bird floating in the lake, no rings.
Coot 19 Broods of 3 and 5 small chicks and 3,3 and 1 older chicks not included in count.
Cormorant 3
Grey Heron 1
Kingfisher 1
Lapwing 1
Mallard 31
Moorhen 2 Broods of 1 and 2 well grown chicks not included in count.
Mute Swan 2 Pair with 7 well grown cygnets. One of the adults is Orange 744.
Oystercatcher 3 2 adults and one juvenile.
Pied/White Wagtail 11 Rarer species

Total number of species: 13, Individuals: 89

Other birds of note:

Stock Dove
Reed Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Green Woodpecker
House Martin (best count of 37)
Swallow (a few feeding before the rain arrived)