Thursday, 5 May 2016

Howdon Garden and Big Waters 3/4 May 2016

Returning home from Big Waters on Tuesday and whilst unloading my gear from my car I noticed an unusual bird on one of the Nyjer feeders and a quick glimpse through the glasses confirmed it was my first ever Lesser Redpoll in the Garden .  So here are a few pictures and the inevitable video reduced to a few minutes from over 2hrs of filming of said bird feeding.  It basically just fed off and on for nearly 7hrs vanishing about 20.30hrs and hasn't been seen since

Here is the link to the video
(just click on UTube and you can see in HD)

Meanwhile on Wednesday I went back to Big Waters to see how the Swans and their 7 Cygnets were getting on and watched them being forced off the nest and into the pond for a little feed and a bit of discovering.  A couple of them went into the water and were soon back out and on top of the nest although Dad came along and pushed one in then carried the other one and unceremoniously dumped it in.  About 2 hours later they came through into Big Waters and were fiercely protected by their parents from the other 6 Swans and the Herons that were about.  No pardons for the excessive pictures and lengthy video, Carole has watched it 3 the video times now and still Oooohs and Aaaaahs at it and the pictures as I run through them again

This shot was taken from the main hide at Big Waters
whilst they were being kept in a small area for Protection
Here is the link to the video
(just click on UTube and you can see in HD)

Both adult Swans have Darvic Rings on and thanks to Andy Rickeard we have the following:
ZAS ringed at Killingworth Lake as 2nd yr male 2004
ZAT ringed at Silksworth as a cygnet female in 2006

Also seen at Big Waters on Wednesday afternoon were a Green Woodpecker (Yaffling quite a lot), a Cuckoo although it was not calling, 8 Common Terns, 25+ Swift, Grasshopper Warbler (heard only), quite a few Blackcaps and Sedge Warblers, Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebes and the normal inhabitants although not as many were seen as usual,

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