Posts Tagged ‘Greylag Goose’

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)

 

 

 

 

A bright sunny morning and a chance to have a stroll around the Tarn. As I approached a bird flew across my path and headed out east along the water’s edge – A female Northern Wheatear, my second record for the site. Unfortunately, I was unable to relocate it and it probably continued out onto the adjoining golf course, a much more suitable habitat for this species.

 

There were a good number of geese present – 8 Canada Geese; 5 Greylag Geese;1 hybrid and 3 Egyptian Geese. It looks as though our Greylag – Canada pairing are back again together with one of their offspring.

Canada Goose

Greylag Goose

Egyptian Goose

Canada x Greylag Hybrid

There seems little evidence of nesting yet, although one Coot was gathering twigs. Interesting how sites vary, given that Keith and I had seen chicks at the Wetland Centre last Friday.

It was good to see the Tarn without its green covering and I hope that this will remain so over the summer months.

 

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In the midst of a very busy week in which even blog posts had to take a back seat, it was good to find some time for a visit to the Tarn.

The weather has turned cold again and there is a forecast of snow over the coming days. But it was clear as I began to scan the lake for any new arrivals. The pair of Gadwall are still present but the Eurasian Teal and the Little Grebe that arrived in the last cold spell seem to have moved on.

Gadwall

Gadwall

In fact, it was rather quiet apart from a large flock of Moorhens feeding on the weed, there were no real surprises with just the resident populations of Mallard, Tufted Duck and Coot. The numbers of Moorhens on Tarn have been high this winter – previously 10 was a very good count, but this winter counts of 15-20 are regular and on one occasion the number was over 30. Whether they have been attracted by the weed I don’t know but the group of about 20 today were actively feeding on it.

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A Black-headed Gull seems to have taken a liking to this half-sunken platform as he/she has been roosting here on each of the last 3 visits I have made – they are colony nesters so I can’t think it is prospecting a nest site.

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Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)

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Made a detour on the way home for a walk around the Tarn. I was looking to see if I could find the Grey Wagtail which has been frequenting the feeding station in the garden for the last couple of weeks and which I presume is over-wintering on the islands in the Tarn.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

I couldn’t see the Wagtail but a real delight was a pair of Gadwall on the lake. This is a first record here for me in 16 years of observation.

Gadwall

Gadwall

Another interesting sighting was a total count of 30 Moorhens around the lake. The previous high count was 13 in October 2014 and only 3 counts over 10 in the last 6 years. So where have they all come from?

Moorhen

Moorhen

Ring-necked Parrakeet

Ring-necked Parrakeet

Mallard

Mallard

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
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 Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

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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)

A combination of work and medical issues have restricted my trips out recently so it was great to get an opportunity, even though it wasn’t the most promising of days. to visit Keith and his local patch at Hoo in North Kent.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

It rained heavily before I got to our meeting place, but as we arrived at Abbot’s court it had stopped and we were hopeful for a good day’s birdwatching. We began to walk towards the sea-wall but within a half-mile, the rain returned and we found shelter under some trees.

The view from our shelter

The view from our shelter

Male and female Cuckoo could be heard calling towards the old power station through the rain and Swallows and House Martin fed low over our heads driven low by the clouds and rain. On a pool a single Avocet was found and we had distant views of a Little Egret. There was, however, no let up in the rain and after 30 minutes we received a phone call from Elaine, Keith’s wife, who offered to come and pick us up in the car. We opted to be dropped at the diner at Hoo marina, where we could get some lunch and see if the weather would improve. An hour later the rain had stopped and we decided to retrace our intended route in the opposite direction back to Abbot’s Court – at first all seemed well and we saw Oystercatcher, Sparrowhawk and Linnet amongst other species.

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Mute Swan

Mute Swan

About half-way the rain returned and this time there was no shelter and no alternative so we had to carry on. By the time we arrived at Abbot’s Court and Elaine once again picked us up in the car we were both soaked. Retiring for a cup of tea and a change of clothes before I began my journey back to London was a welcome break. Typically as we left Hoo to go back to the railway station at Strood the weather cleared up and the rain stopped!

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On review, not a bad days list considering the conditions and the time of year. Thanks to Keith for his company and to Elaine for ferrying us around.

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Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

Titchwell Marsh

Titchwell Marsh

Thursday saw us heading for the coast again, this time to the RSPB reserve at Titchwell marsh. But the journey along the coast road had its excitement too. As we passed the village of Morston, a small falcon flew across the road right in front of the car. It was so close that I could clearly see the facial markings, belly streaking and red thigh feathers that marked it out as a Hobby. Then a few miles further on I saw a hawk flying over the road. Thinking it was a Buzzard, I was most surprised to see the clearly white body and under-wing – an Osprey! Most unexpected for Norfolk at this time of year. I later learnt that there had been a bird seen near the Yorkshire coast the day before and so maybe this was the same bird already making it’s way back south. Maybe it was a young bird that had failed to find a partner or breed and had decided to begin it’s migration early.

Titchwell Marsh

Titchwell Marsh

After all this excitement we eventually arrived at Titchwell and proceeded to the first hide on the Freshwater Marsh. As there had been on other sites this week there were a number of Ruff still showing the remnants of their summer plumage. As we approached the hide our path was blocked by a family of Greylag geese who clearly felt they had the right of way.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

After they had passed we also found a clutch of Mallard chicks sheltering in the reeds

Mallard

Mallard

From the hide we could see a good selection of wading birds including Pied Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Spotted Redshank. A sleeping Garganey dozed on the mud bank. But the best sighting was of two young Beeded Reedlings feeding out on the open mud. This secrative reed dwelling species is rarely seen so this was a unique and exciting sight as they fed out in the open for 10 or 15 minutes picking insects from the surface of the mud.

Bearded Reedlings

Bearded Reedlings

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

An unexpected sighting was a single Brent goose. This is normally a winter visitor to the UK and so a species you normally would not expect to see in July. Also a small flock of Red Crested Pochard, a duck not native to the UK but which have escaped from bird collections. It’s status is difficult to evaluate as the problem of captive escapes means that all records of potential wild visitors from eastern and southern Europe to these shores is put in doubt.

Other sightings including a Red Admiral butterfly and banded Demoiselles again in the cottage garden again (this time 3 females)

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Banded Demoiselle (f)

Banded Demoiselle (f)

I think I should start a list of bird that have harassed me at cafe tables. It would include the usual suspects House Sparrow; Chaffinch etc as well as Robin and Moorhen. But at Titchwell we added a new species in the shape of a very attentive Song Thrush which happily hopped around our feet taking our crumbs between posing for photos

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Garganey (Anas querquedula)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Osprey [sp] (Pandion haliaetus)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
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)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

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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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The weekly butterfly and dragonfly survey on my local patch. The weather is not ideal as there is a good breeze blowing but the weather forecast doesn’t look much better tomorrow.

On the walk down to the small pond there is not much activity but there are a few Large Red Damselflies on the pond and the vegetation surrounding it.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

A pair of Blackbirds are gathering nesting material from the edge of the pond.

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Whilst photographing Large Red’s a  blue butterfly briefly alights on the bush and its brown underwing identifies it as my year’s first Common Blue butterfly for the site.

Common Blue

A female Brimstone passes by as I approach the lake. Contrary to what I wrote last week, a pair of Canada Geese have bred although it is surprising to see that they only have one gosling.

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Our mixed Canada/Greylag pair have also bred (4th year) and have a small family.

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The main Greylag nursery still numbers 8 and they are beginning to look like much more like their parents.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

Butterfly-wise it is pretty quiet. I locate another Common Blue and 2 Speckled Woods

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

But there is quiet a lot of Bee activity and Red-tailed and White-tailed workers are busily collect nectar.

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Returning to the small pond, I am photographing Large Red’s again when a blue damselfly puts in a brief appearance before disappearing round a bush. Location and date suggest Azure Damselfly but I cant rule out Common Blue Damselfly (ironically not the commonest blue damselfly on the site). I spent some time trying to re-locate it but without success. Hopefully this is the first of many and they will be more evident next week.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

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Back to the weekly butterfly and dragonfly survey of the patch. Its a beautiful day and so am hopeful for plenty to record.

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My first stop is the Damselfly pool. Its a good start as there are 6 Large Red Damselflies including a tandem pair. This really is excellent as I had been worried that the water quality issues might have killed off all the nymphs. Large Red are the earliest species to emerge on this site and so I am hopeful that the other Damselfly species (4 recorded last year) will also be OK.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

Moving on the lake edges are thick with vegetation. Large White; Orange-Tip and Brimstone are all present in good numbers, but no blue butterflies. At the western end I also found a Comma butterfly.

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

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There is still much breeding activity going on with Moorhen and Coot still on nests.

Moorhen

Moorhen

The Greylag geese still have 7 young, now growing fast and there are 5 Mallard young. But no evidence that any Canada Geese have bred this year.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

Mallard

Mallard

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Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
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)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)