Posts Tagged ‘Eurasian Coot’

A bright sunny day and a chance to do the weekly butterfly and dragonfly survey on my home patch. It has been a somewhat slow start to the year with sporadic butterflies and just two records so far of Large Red Damselfly (two weeks ago – which was an early date for this site) and nothing since. As I made my way down to the Tarn I found a female Brimstone and then by the pool a Holly Blue.

Holly Blue

 

Approx 6-8 Large Red Damselflies were on the pool and 2 pairs were busily laying eggs. A single Azure damselfly was also present.

Large Red Damselfly

Azure damselfly

 

 

 

 

 

This was to be the highlight as the remainder of the walk only yielded a single Green-veined White and a second Brimstone.

Green-veined White (1st brood Female)

The nesting season for birds is well underway and today there were young Coots, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese and Mallard around the Tarn.

Coot and young

Greylag Geese and young

Canada Goose and young

Mallard and young

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

 

 

 

Some interesting finds on this week’s recording walk at the Tarn. The bright sunny day had brought out lots of insects.

4 species of Butterfly were seen including the first Blue of the year, a single Holly Blue along with Small White, Orange Tip and Speckled Wood.

Speckled Wood

A couple of other interesting finds were a number of Bee-flys (Bombylius Major) and a hover-fly which is a Bumblebee mimic (Eristalis Inricarius). Thanks to the Insect facebook community for rapidly confirming ID  on these.

Bee-fly

 

Eristalis Intricarius

Eristalis Intricarius

The usual resident birds were present. The Coot are nesting and one pair of Greylag Geese already has 5 goslings. One visitor stopped me to say he had seen 2 Carp in the water at the western end of the Lake, which must be another good sign that water quality is improving and this may be related to a Grey Heron fishing in the shallows at the eastern end, although he is probably after smaller fish.

Coot nesting

Grey Heron fishing

Good specimen of fungi on a fallen tree

 

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Common Carder-Bee

The Tarn

Spring is here and so a new recording season begins. Having had a break over the winter from any formalised recording it is time to begin again for Butterflies, Dragonflies and Bumblebees on my patch and for Birds at Eltham Park. So a bright March day saw me doing the first of my weekly walks around the Tarn.

An early surprise was a Stock Dove in the Garden as I set out to walk down to the Tarn. This is the first record for me on the patch and although I didn’t disturb it, the bird had disappeared by the time I returned. On the walk down to the Tarn, I recorded my first Butterfly of 2017 a Speckled Wood.

Arriving at the Tarn the usual residents were in evidence but as I walked around the lake there was little evidence of Butterfly activity. Apart from the overwintering species, the first emergers are usually the Orange-Tips and eventually, a pair flew past me at the east end of the lake.

Orange Tip (m). Photo by Tim Hodson (https://www.flickr.com/photos/informationtakesover/)

Tracking back up the south side and doing the wildfowl count whilst also looking out for butterflies I reached the sluice gate at the south-western end when a flash of iridescent blue sped away from me across the Lake – a Common Kingfisher – the first of the year – it must have been perched somewhere nearby in the bushes and took flight at my approach. As I left to make my way back home, a female Brimstone butterfly flew lazily across the path.

It’s been a while since I saw a Terrapin here, but this one was taking the opportunity to sun itself.

Egyptian Goose

Coot trying out a potential nest site

The Tarn

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Butterflies

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)

Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

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Why does it always seem to happen? I go away for a week and another local birdwatcher finds 2 first sightings of species on the Tarn. So on a bright winters morning, I set off to see if the birds were still there. The first thing I found was a Little Grebe ( a regular winter visitor) hiding under the bank.

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

The pair of gadwall (also a first record) first seen two weeks ago were still present along with a good number of Moorhens and some Coot plus a single Tufted Duck.

Gadwall (m)

Gadwall (m)

Coot

Coot

At the eastern end of the lake, I soon find the first of those new firsts as a female Teal is swimming amongst the bankside vegetation but eventually she emerged to be photographed.

Teal (f)

Teal (f)

As for the second species, I was hunting, a Water Rail, I knew where it was likely to be, but equally knew I would be lucky to see it. Maybe it would call from the vegetation. Whilst I was scouring the area, I noticed a small bird fly into nearby vegetation. It caught my attention and as I looked into the twigs and leaves I could make out a small dull bird with a black cap – ah a male Blackcap – used to be a summer visitor but we have had them over-winter here before. But as I looked I could see a pale cheek and that black cap is not right for a blackcap – now totally confused – was it an aberrant Great Tit with no colour? Then it popped out on a branch and it was a Marsh Tit (another site first!). It flew off before I could get a photo unfortunately.

Marsh Tit. Photo by Shawn Nystrand (https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_webhamster/)

Marsh Tit. Photo by Shawn Nystrand (https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_webhamster/)

I continued to search for the Water Rail but without any success – still there is always tomorrow!

Ring-necked Parrakeet

Ring-necked Parrakeet

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)

 

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Keith and I are back at the London Wetland Centre in search of the wintering Bitterns which have finally arrived from their breeding grounds on the continent. It is thought there are currently 2-3 of these secretive birds on the reserve and there have been daily sightings in the past few weeks. On arrival we can see that the cold weather has caused some of the smaller ponds to freeze and the waterbirds tread uneasily as it appears they are walking on water.

Eurasian Coot

Eurasian Coot

We make our way down the western arm as this is where the Bitterns have been most commonly seen. Whilst searching we find a Yellow-legged gull amongst a group of Herring and Lesser-Black-backed gulls. This southern European species is a winter visitor which is spreading north in its range. But alas no Bitterns.

Yellow-legged Gull. Photo by Francesco Veroesi. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_veronesi/)

Yellow-legged Gull. Photo by Francesco Veroesi. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_veronesi/)

Having drawn a blank we proceed to the eastern arm and in the first hide find another of our rarer wintering gulls, a juvenile Caspian Gull. This species breeds around the Caspian and Black seas and in Eastern Europe but is increasingly being seen in the UK. But still no Bittern!

Juvenile Caspian Gull. Photo by Keith

Juvenile Caspian Gull. Photo by Keith

Our day ends in the Tower hide, in the hope of a Bittern flying to roost, but alas we are not to be lucky today. They had been seen but never at the place /time that we were there – still there is always another day. A good day for gulls though with 7 species seen.

There is a Bittern in this reed-bed...... somewhere!

There is a Bittern in this reed-bed…… somewhere!

 

Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

 

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

 

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)
Yellow-legged Gull [sp] (Larus michahellis)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

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Having a couple of hours to spare after an appointment in central London and having the previous day failed to catch up with either Brown Hawker or Southern Hawker Dragonflies at London Wetland Centre, I decided to go for a walk around the lake in Regents Park to see if I could remedy this.

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As usual, the lake held its normal array of waterbirds, including 3 species of geese, all present in good numbers.

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese

Greylag Goose

Greylag Goose

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

One surprise was to find Coot that were still nesting. I located 2 nests, one of which had young visible.

Nesting Coot

Nesting Coot

Young Coot

Young Coot

On the dragonfly front, I was not successful with only Common Darter being recorded.

Common Darter

Common Darter

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Pictures from our recent trip to Northumbria

Bullfinch

Bullfinch

Avocet

Avocet

White tailed Bumblebee

White-tailed Bumblebee

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

Coot

Coot

Sleeping Grey Heron on nest

Sleeping Grey Heron on nest

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Popped into Sutcliffe Park Local Nature reserve this morning for a quick visit to see what was present on the marsh.

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The river is in flood due to all the rain we have had (this is the main reason the wetland was created to be a flood-plain for the river). So it was difficult to pick your way round the edges avoiding the very boggy bits.

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Spent a lot of time scouring the channels in the marsh looking for Snipe (regular) and Green Sandpiper (seen earlier in the week) but to no avail. Some of the more common residents were still to be seen though.

Robin

Robin

 

Coot

Coot

 

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck

 

Mallard

Mallard

The highlight of the visit was a group of 5 Common Gulls on the Athletics field. Despite it’s name it is not that common locally.

 

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)

Coot

Posted: July 20, 2015 in Birds, Natural History
Tags:

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Coot

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This weeks butterfly and dragonfly survey looked like turning up a big fat double zero despite reasonable weather conditiond. Thankfully a single Speckled Wood at the end of the walk was a relief to see.

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

After the promise of last week, the small pond was deserted and no damselflies were to be seen either on the pond or on the surrounding vegetation. Still it is rare that I dont turn up something of interest and along with White-tailed and Common Carder bees there were a number of Tree bumblebees (Bombus hypnorum) at the western end of the Tarn. First record this year of a species which may be the only bumble bee species that is currently increasing in the UK. It first began to colonise the southern counties of UK 13 years ago and now is commonly found in much of England and parts of Wales.

Tree Bee . Bombus hypnorum
Tree Bumblebee
Photo by Gail Hampshire (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gails_pictures/)

Male bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum), Sandy, Bedfordshire
Tree Bumblebee
photo by Orange Aurouchs (https://www.flickr.com/photos/orangeaurochs/)

The Greylag geese are developing fast and will soon be indistinguishable from their parents.

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I found one active Moorhen nest

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and a family of Coot.

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