Sunday, 31 January 2010

Sunday 31st January 2010

Very cold this morning allowing me to take my normal Kempston/Biddenham Loop walk along the river with the ground frozen. The first drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard in the woods downstream from Kempston Mill, no Stock Dove this morning though.

The usual 3 Mandarins were at the Mill, taking advantage of the free grain but also taking a battering from the local mallards.

At Box End Park Cormorants were the order of the day with at least 16 seen but possibly 20+.

A group of 20 Skylarks went up over the new building site as I made my way back towards Kempston Mill and groups of 8 and 2 Cormorants were seen heading towards BEP where they dropped in.

Back at the steps up to Hillgrounds ~30 Redwing flushed into the trees as I ascended.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Big Garden Birdwatch 2010

It was a fairly uninspiring hour brightened by a couple of Long-tailed Tits passing through in the last five minutes. 5 Starlings dropped in along with single Robin, Dunnock, Woodpigeon and Collared Dove.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Bird Survey 24/01/2010

Following are counts of species seen on my regular walk taking in Kempston Mill, Biddenham Loop CP and The Bedford Golf Course:

Carrion Crow 57
Blackbird 14
Magpie 7
Robin 10
Dunnock 5
WoodPigeon 59
Song Thrush 6
Great Tit 31
Collared Dove 5
Canada Goose 8
Blue Tit 29
Redwing 2
Green Woodpecker 4
Mute Swan 9
Mallard 72
Chaffinch 15
Stock Dove 2
Long-tailed Tit 6
Goldfinch 36
Mandarin Duck 3
Moorhen 7
Bullfinch 5
Fieldfare 12
Pheasant 1
Reed Bunting 3
Wren 7
Grey Heron 2
Pied Wagtail 3
Black-headed Gull 59
Cormorant 7
Little Grebe 1
Starling 11
Meadow Pipit 2
SkyLark 3
Kingfisher 1
Greenfinch 3
House Sparrow 3

Monday, 18 January 2010

17/01/2010 - Great Duck Hunt 2010

The Bedfordshire Bird Club organised a wildfowl count again this year. The aim is to get someone out to every lake and river in the county to obtain a snapshot of the wildfowl in the county. This year it was on Sunday 17th January which tied in with the BTO Wetland Bird Survey for January. Along with my WeBS site (Box End Park [BEP]) I volunteered to count at Biddenham Loop Country Park [BLCP].

The count followed on from a prolonged cold spell but the thaw had set in and recent heavy rain had increased the levels of the lake at BEP and the river at both sites. Having said that the lake was still about 5% ice covered.

I arrived at BEP around first light to find the spit on the south lake almost under water and the expected Lapwing roost nowhere to be seen. Counts were disappointing with no waders at all, highlight was a Little Grebe on the river:

Coot 2
Cormorant 13
Grey Heron 1
Little Grebe 1
Mallard 43
Moorhen 2
Mute Swan 4
Black-headed Gull 34
Common Gull 1

Other species of interest:

Meadow Pipit 5
Sparrowhawk 1

I moved on to BLCP, starting at Bromham bridge and following the river (Great Ouse) down stream. The extra water from the melted snow and recent rain had forced the river level up to the top of the banks and again counts were disappointing, highlights were a single Little Grebe and a Kingfisher.

Moorhen 4
Grey Heron 2
Kingfisher 1
Mallard 20
Little Grebe 1

The Mallards were on the Pond in the cow field that runs along the length of the park.

Highlight of the morning was this Kestrel at BLCP which hung about long enough for a photo op: