Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Tuesday 7th. October 2014

A catch up on a few short visits made recently .
A real Autumnal feel about the bird survey at Down House , which produced an average 18 species , none of which was unusual , and two Roe Deer , quite unexpected as all meadows have now been
cut to the fence lines , leaving no cover at all . Only picture taken was this of ripe clusters of Hornbeam seeds , on a tree in the formal garden .
A look at the lake at South Norwood Country Park proved more interesting , with a pair of Shoveler ,
a fly over by a juvenile LBBGull , eventually driven off by Corvids ,
a fly-by by a very large pair of feet , attached to a Coot .
and eventually , the male Wood Duck that has been seen there recently . Apparently , there is a breeding feral population in Surrey and Berkshire , or of course it could be an escapee .
A visit to the causeway at Bough Beech Reservoir , found about a dozen Wigeon grazing around the North Lake , four of which pictured ,
a Kingfisher that landed momentarily on the culvert wall on the North Lake ,
and low flying Lapwings .
A look up on the Common found this female Small Copper resting between egg laying ,
searching the preferred laying area , I found these three eggs , from which the caterpillars had already emerged , and in which form they will over Winter .
A short distance away , I found this Hornet , and from the size , 3-3.5 cms. , assume that it is a Queen , being much larger than other I have seen this Autumn .
On the way back to the car , a look for Purple Hairstreak eggs on the bud clusters of Oak , found just one , but the hole in it this time shows that it has already been predated , by an Ichneumon or something similar , as the species over Winters in egg form .
Today , I made a third attempt to find the Firecrest in the wood almost under the BBC transmitter at Crystal Palace . The first two visits failed , but last night I read that the Wood Duck , or another one , was on the lake at Crystal Palace Park and as I would be passing decided to have a look . First find was 8/10 Cormorants fishing as a pack down the length of the lake . Impossible to count as some
were always underwater . At the far end , four were drying off , but soon the pack was working it's way back the other way .
A Grey Wagtail flitted into view , and out of view just as quickly . The Wood Duck was found sleeping under the bankside vegetation , but after a while , the handsome drake did move into open
water for a short time , before returning to the bankside . I see that the bird hasn't been seen for the last two days at SNCP , so the two sightings are probably both the same bird . At the Firecrest wood , a short burst of song was heard over the strong wind and a movement in the shadows was a 'possible' , but I came away for a third time without a positive sighting .


Marc Heath said...

Love the Wood Duck and that Hornet looks a right beast. A damsefly id issue for you on my blog if you wouldn't mind a look.

Phil said...

Certainly does seem like Autumn has finally arrived Greenie.
Like the look of the Wood Duck, never seen one myself.
Well done getting the Kingfisher shot in an unusual setting.

Derek Faulkner said...

I remember getting the same pleasure at seeing Ruddy Duck on my patch until "experts" in this country decided that they all had to be culled, let's hope somebody doesn't come up with a reason why the Woodies have to suffer the same fate.

ashleyhr said...

Saw and photographed a male wood duck at Crystal Palace Park (on the big lake) this afternoon. Did not have a clue what it was but was sure it was neither a UK species nor - almost certainly - a genuine wild vagrant from abroad. Discovered its identity from searching online and then saw your blog as well - have emailed the RSPB even though it's probably a (very) exotic escapee.