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A gentle deep irregular knocking sound, not the rapid-fire drumming I know better... Finally I saw a male great Spotted Woodpecker on a high narrow willow branch in the TG along the banks of the canal.
Lots of bird activity: 4 long-tailed tits, a song thrush, a pair of adult swans on the main lake, a moorhen, a dunnock, two wrens, several blackbirds, a treecreeper on the a mossy willow stump in the middle lake.
Later in day 2 juvenile swans further up can by Jericho; I've subsequently seen the odd one or two juveniles on the Jericho canal / Mill Stream reach. So they seem to be staying around.
Pair of adult swans on canal by TG entrance; then a half an hour later one juvenile swan alone.
A pair of wrens, 2 long tailed tits,, a moorhen, a kingfisher hunched and fishing (middle lake - it flew off towards the kingfisher-bank area)
BIG NEWS: 4-6 eggs of a rare Brown Hairstreak butterfly photographed today on a Blackthorn. Photos of the butterfly laying them on 17 August are also available.
Snowdrops and Winter Heliotrope (lovely scent) in flower on the edge of the woodland.
A Firecrest today - very rarely seen on the Trap Grounds.
on 5th Dec: about 6 goldfinches feeding on the teasel and willow herb seed heads; a wren; 2 dunnocks; a moorhen; and a rasping unusual call from the reedbed. 2 male teal, 4 female teal, piping whistling calls from the reeds. Ice on the middle pond.
on 28th November around 4am, an owl heard hooting in the distance - the first I've ever heard in the the TG area.
15th Nov: a water vole swimming across the canal near Aristotle Bridge.
In the waterway that continues out from the TG – about 40 feet from the TG perimeter – in Burgess Mead, a water vole. It was after dark, about 6pm, and I heard the PLOP! as it tried to dive, then I saw, in the small light of the low-lighting near the water there, a waterhole swimming away to the reeds and scrub overhanging the other side of the stream. It continued to disturb the dead wintry reeds and little longer as it busied itself hiding. I think this is significant as the water vole was in the same water-course as runs through the TG, only a matter of yards away. I was surprised as it was a very cold night, but it was unmistakable – I've seen several swimming in the canal and hiding in the reeds over the last few years.
A very small brown waterfowl swimming off into the reeds opposite the ruined hide – if it hadn't been ruined the bird would probably not have seen me. The bird must have been a dabchick as it was like a small half-grown mallard duckling, which is how dabchicks look at first until you realise these are not young birds at all but small adults: small grebes, otherwise known as dabchicks.
A goldcrest seen from the boardwalk yesterday
A pair of Kingfishers zooming over the big pond today. Two reports of a muntjac fawn last week. A Robin came and sat on my knee during a work-party tea break.
Fresh sunny morning after big stormy rains last night: a group of little birds tweeting and twittering in a thicket bare of leaves between the pond and the central lake: a blue tit flew out, then about six long tailed tits, then I noticed a tree creeper, pecking its way up a vertical willow stem, then a second treecreeper at the same time, making its way up the next willow trunk; then at the bottom of the thicket a goldcrest. A post-storm small-bird bonanza, all in the same small willow and scrub thicket! A beautiful shining, twittering Trap Grounds morning.
The Swan Family, with all five cygnets, feeding and sunning on the lake this afternoon. The feathers of four of the young are showing signs of turning white already. And by the way, the other (sunny) day I saw a full size large dragonfly! Nov 6th. I've never seen a dragonfly in November before...
Kingfisher seen twice this week on Swan Pond.