Wednesday, 20 October 2010

20th October 2010

Bingo! New birds at the lakes this morning were both at Terry's Pool, namely a Wigeon, plus an elusive redhead Goosander that might've arrived whilst I was there. A Chiffchaff around Terry's Pool showed well, and there were single Redwings perched around Both Terry's and Windmill Pools. Not much visible migration though.
M.P. Griffiths

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Addendum for 19th October 2010

Keith Lovell had a Raven over Windmill Pool during the morning.

16th-19th October 2010

I'll try to keep these posts going!!! Recent highlights:

16/10/2010 = 9 Bullfinches around the lakes was my personal best site count for the species. 1 Wigeon at Terry's Pool and a Lesser Redpoll over Engine Pool. Along the west side of Windmill Pool, I started making whistles like Chiffchaff calls, got a response in one quiet call from amongst the willows and then saw a Phylloscopus warbler, which vanished when I moved my binoculars to my eyes, never to be seen again - late Chiffchaff, I reckoned.

17/10/2010 = Fairly good visible migration in the early morning, with 385+ Woodpigeons, 1 Linnet, up to 3 Rooks, 1 Skylark, 2+ Meadow Pipits, Redwings, and best of all my first definite vis-mig Song Thrush, over in ~90 minutes obervation from the causeway. Moving on to the Springbrook Scrubland, saw a Common Snipe and 60+ Redwings in flight, which were flushed by nearby clay pigeon shooting and dog-walkers. At Terry's Pool, the female Pintail was seen again, plus 3 Teals and 5 Wigeons.

18/10/2010 = Nil of note at the lakes, although I did leave it late visiting.

19/10/2010 = 194+ Starlings at the Hungry Horse field. At the lakes, 5 Mute Swans (family of 4, plus an adult). Just this minute looked out the window and the moon is out, so hopefully something new in at the lakes tomorrow morning... (please!)

M.P. Griffiths

P.S. On the 17th, I checked the canal feeder channel near the engine house, which has been dredged in the last couple of weeks so that now the water and east side are much more open, and much more of the channel can be seen from the gate. I'm quite excited to see how the dredging of the channel will affect lake water levels next year - fingers crossed the water levels will reveal the Engine Pool island for the first time since 2008, and attract some waders. The other feeder channel, easiest to view from Springbrook Lane, was dredged a month ago at least, and already seems to have become more suitable for Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail.
I must thank Tony Philp and Mike Holt who checked Earlswood during the weekend I was away - thank you both. Tony had a Shoveler and 1+ Wigeon at Terry's Pool on the 9th, but these had gone next day; whilst Mike had about 50-60 Redwings in the Springbrook Scrubland (south of Windmill Pool) on the 10th. Some of the photos taken by Tony at the lakes recently:

Wigeons and Mallard, 06/10/2010 (© Tony Philp)

Pochard, 13/10/2010 (© Tony Philp)

Friday, 15 October 2010

15th October 2010

Had a really good morning at the lakes today, with the best sighting being a juvenile Kittiwake (lifer!) at Windmill Pool for several minutes mid-morning, picked out amongst a small group of Black-headed Gulls on the water. Viewed from the sailing club slipway, I last saw it flying to Engine Pool but there was no sign of it by the time I reached the causeway. Also saw a female Pintail at Terry's Pool, and a Dunlin over (viewed from causeway). A Teal was flying around, a Wigeon was heard at Windmill Pool, and a late Swallow and 2 presumed Lesser Redpoll flew over Engine Pool.
M.P. Griffiths

P.S. Kittiwake and Dunlin put me on 111 for my personal 2010 patch year list. Earlswood systematic bird list (link on right) updated.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

This Friday & weekend

The weather forecast for this weekend looks really, really good for something unusual turning up at Earlswood, with easterly winds blowing and a little fog in the mornings to ground birds, but can you guess who's not going to be able to cover Earlswood?! Having forgotten that I'd the WeBS to do Sunday, I'd agreed to go camping with a couple of mates in Wales Friday-Sunday and am really worried I'm gonna miss a rarity! I'm even gonna try to sneak half an hour's birding in first light Friday. It would be good if someone could check the lakes this weekend, at least the causeway where Rock Pipit or a tern are possibilities.

Earlswood is long overdue a really good bird, and the last twitchable one was the Grey Phalarope in early October 2007!