Marsh Lane News - November 07
Friday 30th November 2007 - overcast with south-westerly and showers later.
Shelduck were up to two and the over-wintering Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Duck, and Goldeneye were present. Tree Sparrow numbers had risen to a very satisfactory dozen.
Thursday 29th November 2007 - Sunny, brisk west, north-westerly wind.
In terms of numbers of brids, the Old Road hedges and crop field are as lively as ever, with at least 20 each of Fieldfare, Redwing, Linnet and Yellowhammers and 30 or more of Reed Bunting and Chaffinch. The Tree Sparrow count today was nine. With patience, all of these species can be seen well with the Tree Sparrows often visiting the feeder.
The Goldeneye was on Car Park Pool and yesterday's Golden Plovers were present again.
Wednesday 28th November 2007 - Grey overcast and mild. Fresh south-westerly.
The Goldeneye and Shelduck were again present and 46 Golden Plovers joined 400 Lapwings, the best autumn count so far. Two Ravens flew through.
Tuesday 27th November 2007 - Misty and drizzly, but mild and still start.
Mobbing birds along the central stream-line revealed a roosting Tawny Owl which eventually flew off towards the lorry park.
The crop field was busy again with the usual finches and buntings, 13 Pheasants and a Redpoll. A pair of Great-Crested Grebes was displaying on Car Park Pool, a Herring Gull roosted on the islands there and 40 Pochard was still a good count. 8 Snipe were on the islands (3 LP and 5 RP).
Monday 26th November 2007 - Overcast and still
A male Shelduck, a Ruddy Duck and a Green Sandpiper were new in and 55 Pochard was an exceptional count. The Shelduck was probably the same bird as on the 19th. The Ruddy Duck is the first for the month and the Green Sandpiper the first since the 4th.
Tree Sparrows again totalled 10 and a Siskin flock of 30 was in the Alders near Oak Hide.
Sunday 25th November 2007
Milder with occasional showers on a north-westerly breeze. A male Peregrine hunted over most of the pools, late afternoon and the Common Sandpiper put in a brief appearance. Two Water Rails were present again from the north causeway screen, together with a Goldeneye on Car Park Pool and, in the evening, at least 37 Redwings flew over or dropped into the Old Road hedges to roost.
Saturday 24th November 2007 - cold, some rain.
The regular Saturday duck count yielded 234 Wigeon, 63 Teal, 22 Shoveler, 42 Mallard, 39 Gadwall, 35 Pochard, 18 Tufted and the female Goldeneye.
Thrush, finch and bunting action remained lively with 89 Fieldfare, 40 Redwing, 45 Reed Bunting, 25 Yellowhammers, 12 Siskin, eight plus Tree Sparrow and 10 Chaffinch. A male Brambling was present around the crop field mid morning, perhaps the same bird as last week. The Starling flock from the 23rd was again present as was the Jack Snipe.
Friday 23rd November 2007- No records.
Thursday 22nd November 2007 - Sunny
Thrushes remain very much in evidence with at least 50 Fieldfare in the hedges around the car park and 20 Redwings and a handful of Blackbirds were present too. Some spilt grain on te Old Road attracted at least 75 Starlings whilst finches of note included 15 plus Siskins and a couple of Redpolls.
The Tree Sparrows were showing interest in the holes in the Oak trees in the crop field.
The Goldeneye remains and six Common Gulls were in with the steady turnover of small gulls.
Wednesday 21st November 2007
Other than 200 Golden Plover seen flying over the A452, there were no other records.
Tuesday 20th November 2007
Grey and misty with bird life similar to previous days. No sign of yesterday's Shelduck and Pintail but the female Goldeneye had reappeared on Car Park Pool. Mallard had risen to 97 and 264 Greylags were roosting on Car Park Pool islands and shoreline.
Thrushes and Starlings were again very much in evidence and the Tree Sparrow flock remained at least 10.
Monday 19th November 2007
Still cold but noticeably less wind and mostly sunny. Yesterday's thin covering of snow did not linger long.
No sign of the Goldeneye but new birds included a female Pintail and, briefly, a young male Shelduck (the first returning bird of the autumn) both on Car Park Pool. A female Brambling showed well in the Old Road hedges, by the cottages, and a Marsh or Willow Tit (the first for some weeks) showed very briefly in the copse by Railway Hide.
Thrushes, Finches and Buntings were similar to the previous few days and Tree Sparrows again totalled about ten (eight together by the car park feeders and two flew over Railway Hide). Odd Siskins flew over calling and a Mistle Thrush sang briefly by the back gate.
Sunday 18th November 2007
A cold south-easterly and heavy rain all day discouraged most birders (and most birds too!). Good weather for ducks and duck counting! Wigeon and Teal numbers reached their best counts of the autumn, 258 and 112 respectively and 39 Shoveller was also a good total.
Saturday 17th November 2007
A generally still sunny day. The Old Road hedges were lively, with plenty of Thrushes, Finches and Buntings. After yesterday's early morning arrival of thrushes, more apparently came in during the day and this morning's minimum counts were 75 Fieldfare, 50 Redwing and 50 Starlings, with less than five each of Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and Blackbird. Accurate counts were difficult as birds flew up from the hedges and flew on down the road.
With the Finches in the Old Road hedges as a vocal and confiding male Brambling, which was later seen with the Chaffinches in the field.
Of the regulars, a Jack Snipe remained by the Dragonfly Pond and the Goldeneye had moved to Car Park Pool. c.400 Golden Plover were east of the A452 and over 100 flew around the Reserve towards mid-day and a few landed on the islands, with the Lapwings.
16th November 2007
Similar weather to yesterday. No sign of the Red-crested Pochard. The Common Sandpiper put in a breif appearance and a dozen or so Fieldfare in the hedgerows to the right of Car Park Hide and at 9.20, at least 75 flew over with many dropping onto the Oaks by Car Park Hide. 20 plus Redwings were with them. The Goldeneye was close to, and to the left of Oak Hide, feeding regularly by a patch of ice. Plenty of buntings and finches were present between the cottages and gates but lack of time prevented a detailed count.
15th November 2007
A hard frost but otherwise still and sunny. A male Red-crested Pochard was an unexpected find. It remained most of the day and also the 4th record (5th bird) for the Reserve. The female Goldeneye was again present.
14th November 2007
The Finches and Buntings were much in evidence along the Old Road hedges this morning, and a Brambling was calling around the car park at 8.15 a.m. The Golden Plover flock was again present east of the A452, but numbers did not appear to be more than about 400. 20 Wood Pigeons moved through before 8 a.m., but there was no other obvious visible migration. 17 Common Gulls were a good count.
13th November 2007
A damp start again, though the wind has moved round nearer the west. The inexorable rise in the number of Tree Sparrows continues, with at least 10 today and quite possibly more. Aside from the usual Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings, there were 20 Chaffinchesand 25-30 Linnets in the crop field as well. The maize, there, is being eaten by, I assume, badgers as scrapes and droppings are visible in places. The Goldeneye was still present on Railway Pool and a Water Rail was seen from the Causeway.
12th November 2007
A marked frost commenced a generally sunny day, though a cold north-westerly wind took the edge off it. The only significant record was a count of at least nine Tree Sparrows on or by the car park feeders. Quite where they have originated from is anyone's guess, though a colour ringed bird in 2005 came from Rutland Water. A few thrushes lingered on the Reserve but barely crept above single figures.
11th November 2007
After a damp start, it was cold and sunny. A Peregrine that was seen was the first of the month and the Golden Plover flock increased again to an estimated 700. The highest counts of this second winter period were made for Cormorant (50+) and Common Gull (21) and the Goldeneye was seen again on Railway Pool, though it remains elusive.
10th November 2007
The female Goldeneye from yesterday remains. An accurate count of the Golden Plover flock was possible, totalling 580. A Jack Snipe was present again on the Dragonfly Pond. Thrush numbers have diminished, with no more than 10 to 15 Redwings along the Old Road and a single Mistle Thrush at Patrick Farm. 30 Rooks in the river meadows was a good count and a Brambling was around the car park, briefly, before flying west to Siden Hill Wood. This may possibly have been the bird that was seen along the Old Road on the 4th. Generally, however, the Old Road hedges seem quiet, perhaps as a result of the brisk and cold north-westerly wind.
Two Ravens appeared briefly over Siden Hill Wood in the morning before disappearing to the north.
9th November 2007
It started cold and bright with a strong cold north-westerly wind but showers commenced late morning and continued for the rest of the day and it clouded over.
A female Goldeneye on Railway Pool was a good find. Although a fairly common winter visitor to the larger Midland waters, it is less than annual at Marsh Lane.
Despite the east coast blow, no windblown sea birds appeared - maybe over the weekend! At least three Tree Sparrows were seen together at the feeders.
Erratum to Newsletter 25
It has been noted that the contact details for Neil and Sue Wilding, set out in Newsletter 25, were slightly incorrect. Correct details are:-
Neil and Sue Wilding E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We apologise if this has caused anyone any inconvenience.
7th and 8th November 2007
High cloud gave way to a sunny morning with a brisk and increasing westerly wind. Some thrush migration was evident this morning, with mixed flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings going through between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. At least 70 of the former and 60 of the latter flew south-west or dropped into the trees along the flood plain and 40 more Redwings were present in the Old Road hedges.
The Golden Plover flock flew north over Packington yesterday, but had returned by this morning, and had increased to about 400 : Lapwings with them totalled about 300.
At least six Tree Sparrows were present in hedges by the car park and Linnets had reached just under 30, split between the crop field and the islands on Railway Pool. Ten Common Gulls today and 240 Wigeon yesterday, were the highest counts of the autumn so far. Last Saturday's Whooper Swan put in an appearance at Packington with two hybrid Mute / Whoopers but had gone by early afternoon, in the company of one of them.
6th November 2007
Sunny with a continuing brisk north-westerly. A change in weather but similar birds to yesterday, with the Tree Sparrows (at least five) being very vocal in the hedges by the car park and visiting the car park feeders. 12 Siskin were in the Alders by the Reedbed.
5th November 2007
Generally grey with an increasing north-westerly wind and heavy showers in the afternoon.
No birds out of the ordinary, with the crop field providing the main interest - 40+ Reed Buntings, 15 Yellowhammers and several Tree Sparrows being the main birds of note. Common Gulls reached eight again.
4th November 2007
Another fine day. No sign of yesterday's Whooper Swan but plenty of interest. A redhead Goosander flew over mid-mroning, a Brambling (the only autumn record so far) flew north along the Old Road and Tree Sparrows reached the very satisfactory total of seven.
The Golden Plover flock was seen again, best viewed from the underpass via the concrete road. A Jack Snipe and a Green Sandpiper were present again and three different Water Rail were seen on Car Park Pool.
A report of a sick Greenfinch by the Oak Hide feeders will involve the temporary closure of most feeders as it seems likely the bird has trachomaniosis.
3rd November 2007
Mild, still and sunny. An adult Whooper Swan was the bird of the day. It flew in with 20 mutes (including the Mute / Whooper Swan) at about 9.45 a.m. and stayed most of the day. It was only the second record for the Reserve after one in October 2005. The mutes were birds almost certainly displaced from Packington, by a shoot, so it seems likely the Whooper was already with them at Packington.
The Stonechat reappeared having not been seen since October 23rd. The Golden Plover flock reached 342.
31st October and 1st November 2007
Generally fine and remarkably mild, with a light south-westerly. Birds remain similar to the previous days with at least one Tree Sparrow present on site. Yellowhammer numbers appeared to have increased but due to their flightly nature, a specific count was impossible. At least 30 Redwing, ten Fieldfares and six Blackbirds were in the Old Road hedges, by the top gate, feeding on the Hawthorn berries. Two Green Sandpipers were present as has the Common Sandpiper.