Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Not Quiet on The Western [Park] Front

Glorious sunshine today, but back to the colder side of chilly with yet another frosty start.

I nipped to a bit of good old parkland at lunchtime, literally a few 100 yards down the road from where I work and within the City boundary. Western Park is one of those places that on the face of it should be very good birdwise - big open grassed areas, loads of bushy spinneys and a good mix of big mature broadleaf and coniferous trees with plenty of smaller saplings around aswell. But of course it is bordered by busy roads and housing ....

I'm sure it gets busy at weekends, and I know first hand that the County schools operate cross-country racing there, but today it was quiet with just a couple of dog walkers and one or two others. There is a good roadway that enters the park on the southern side.

As soon as I entered the park, I could hear a couple of City yearticks calling and singing from the large conifers - both Goldcrest and Coal Tit eventually seen well in the canopy. A great start as these were 2 of the 3 targets I had in mind for this site. As I walked on, a couple of Fieldfare flew over calling - a good bonus as somehow I'd missed them within the City boundary so far. I could hear an agitated Great Spot, and eventually picked it up as it moved between trees. No sign of what was bothering it, but as I watched it I heard and then saw a Nuthatch in the next tree - the third target and fourth City yeartick within 15 minutes and 200 meters of arriving! It was only going to be a short visit, but the last thing I expected was the next bird I clapped my bins on - a superb City-tick Jay sitting low in a big oak before dropping down to forage briefly and then flying off deeper into the park. Superb. A very fruitful and enjoyable lunchtime I must say.

Western Park

Western Park

Western Park


Adrian Russell said...

Glad to see you're enjoying our city parks!

Skev said...

Some good habitat in this one - we ought to get the traps out there sometime!