Summary of birds and wildlife recorded in the park during January 2012
If you wish to report any bird or wildlife sightings then I would love to hear from you please email me on: email@example.com
31 January 2012- A Tawny Owl was calling from the Conservation area late PM and a Fox was seen in the Cliff Lane area.
30 January 2012- Gi Grieco had a walk through the park this morning and saw 3 Mandarins (2m, 1f) on Pond 6 with another pair seen on the Canal towards the Myrtle Road gate. Sadly, Gi also came across a Little Egret on the Moat Pond which appeared to be unwell as it allowed him to approach very closely before walking slowly away from him. (Below the same Little Egret, photographed by Parrish Colman on 29 January 2012l)
PM: Sadly, park regular Andrew Talbot reports that the Little Egret, seen earlier in a poor state of health, had died.
29 January 2012- AM- Paul Sherman was in the park this morning and saw "Henry" the Harris Hawk appearing to hunt rats in the Eastern Woods, along the path that leads from the car park through to Nacton Road. As usual, Henry was being mobbed by Carrion Crows and Magpies. Mandarins were seen by Paul with three (2m, 1f) on Pond 1 and four (3m, 1f) on the Wilderness Pond.
Ringing update -Brian Thompson and his ringing group were present in the park this morning and carried out ringing in two locations. In the Old Bat Roost enclosure, 4 Long Tailed Tits were caught including 2 re-traps along with singles of Dunnock, Robin and Wren. From within the Orchard area a Goldcrest was retrapped and a single Blue Tit was caught along with four Great Tits which included two retraps.
A single Kingfisher was seen perched close to the pond dipping jetty (see below) and found to be an adult female due to the red base to the lower mandible (the male has an all blck bill). Whilst watching this individual two more Kingfishers (males?) flew along the rear of the pond chasing each other.
The Wilderness Pond area was quiet but whilst I was looking at the new digging for the weir three Lesser Redpolls (Y 46) passed over. Typically, I was drawn to them by their distinctive fast trilling flight call "tji, tji, tji" and I watched as they flew south over the Orchard and beyond. On the Moat Pond another Coot was found along with a further pair of Mandarin who were hidden under overhanging vegetation. A Sparrowhawk passed over the meadow and then circled high over the Eastern Woods. Several Black-headed Gulls were squabbling for bread with the Mallards on Pond 3 and a fifth pair of Mandarins were also present. On Pond 1, a sixth pair of Mandarins was found and if all the pairs seen today remain intact then we could see a good breeding season ahead. The woodland areas were quite busy with Song and Mistle Thrush seen and heard along with good numbers of Redwings and Blackbirds. A flock of 16 Greenfinches were seen in several locations and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were also present. Walking back along the Orchard Hedge revealed a large Long-tailed Tit flock which contained at least two each of Coal Tit and Goldcrest. A bonus bird came in the form of a male Blackcap (Y 47). Walking back along the canal put me in contact with the Long-tailed Tit flock again and a better view of the two Coal Tits was a nice leaving present. An odd sighting today came in the form of a Grey Squirrel carrying a Robin in it's mouth! It would be unusual for a healthy Robin to succumb to a squirrel so I can only think that the Robin was moribund or found dead and scavenged? However, the Robin (below) as photographed by Paul Sherman was very much alive!
27 January 2012- Three Grey Herons were seen to fly over the park in a north-westerly direction whilst I was walking to work. A pair of Canada Geese (Y 45) were first heard and then seen as they too flew over the park but headed towards the River Orwell.
22 January 2012- Parrish Colman did the rounds in the park today and found good numbers of Redwings feeding on Holly berries along the Nacton Road wall.
A good find came in the shape of a female Blackcap that Parrish found in amongst a tit flock (including the Great Tit above) close to the footbridge behind Pond 1. A great Fungi image was also taken by Parrish as below.
21 January 2012- An image of a Little Egret in the Wlderness Pond was sent in by Paul Sherman, this was taken during the rain and is a great shot (see below). Paul also recorded the Little Egret in the stream close to the Leaf Yard. Paul also saw a Kingfisher around the Moat Pond and again close to the Wilderness Pond.
15 January 2012- A walk this morning started with fine views of a Grey Heron that flew low over the Canal Path calling. On the Canal Pond, three Coots were counted along with two pairs of Mandarin Ducks. Numerous Mallards and mallard types were also present. Around the pond were good numbers of Blackbirds and Redwings feeding in amongst the Ivy and Holly. Both singing Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush were present in treetops above the Wilderness Pond and my thoughts turned to the emerging chorus of bird song all around. Robin, Blackbird, Dunnock, Bue Tit, Great Tit and Wren were all singing or starting to put their songs together. It won't be long before the dawn chorus can be enjoyed again. A decent sized tit flock was followed through the hedgeline along the Orchard and allotment edges. Here, a single ringed Coal Tit was found amongst Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits. Also present and initially picked up on call was a single Chiffchaff (Y 44). A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen high in treetops around the bat roost enclosure and closer views revealed it to be a female as no red was seen on the nape. A Little Egret was seen in cover on Pond 1 and a walk through the Eastern Woods gave me more views of Redwings and Blackbirds along with several smaller tit flocks. At the Bishops Hill end of the woods the Goldfinch flock was found and counted at 32 birds. Again, five Siskins were also still present amongst them. A second Little Egret was found in trees alongside the Moat by the north end of the Play area and a third (!) Little Egret was seen on the Moat Pond by the overflow from Pond 3. Three Little Egrets is an incredible number for the park. Close examination suggested that all three were adult birds, (yellow feet and blackish bills as opposed to grey/green feet and brown bills of an immature bird) with two appearing to show "yellowing" lores and emerging plume and aigrette feathers. As I left the park another Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in flight across the meadow, this time seen with a red nape and, therefore, a male.
Parrish Colman managed a visit to the park too and took a nice photograph of a Goldcrest (see below). A flock of 40+ Redwings were also seen around Pond 1.
NB: Henry the Harris Hawk was seen again this morning in the Moat area. I watched him for a few minutes and was amazed to see him drop from his perch, fly a short distance along the moat and then drop to the bank and pounce on a Brown Rat! He then returned to his perch and then proceeded to take a couple of bites out of the rat. He may be an escape but he is very impressive! More information is now forthcoming about our Henry and it looks like he has been in the general Ipswich area since February last year. Specific reports comment that he was in the Cliff Quay dock area for a long time where he was seen to hunt and catch rabbits and rodents.
13 January 2012- A "tweet" from Butterfly Conservation's Suffolk branch Twitter page reports that a Brimstone was flying in Landseer Park on 07 January 2012, the earliest ever in Suffolk!
12 January 2012- Parrish Colman managed some time in the park today and interestingly came across two Little Egrets (see image of one bird below).
In addition, Parrish also managed to relocate the Harris Hawk (now referred to as "Henry" see below) in the tall trees between the Paddling Pool and Wilderness Pond. Henry seems to be holding his own with the Carrion Crows and Magpies and may even be hunting prey items. I am still trying to locate his owner or failing that someone who can try and recover him.
Black-headed Gull in flight below by Parrish Colman.
10 January 2012- Of interest nearby, four Shags were noted swimming and feeding together in the Wet Dock, just opposite the Fairline Boats berth.
09 January 2012- A Tawny Owl (Y 43) was heard calling from the Conservation/ Kissing Gate Meadow area this evening at dusk. Also of note was a large movement of Woodpigeons (approx 1000+) that passed over the park in a south-westerly direction.
NB- The Harris Hawk story continues. Local resident Jane Bailey has contacted me to say that, having seen the Harris Hawk photos posted below, she saw this bird in her garden (which is close to the park) in the week before Christmas. Furthermore, with this information it is likely that reports of an "eagle" seen over the park on Christmas Day are now likely to refer to the Harris Hawk. Many thanks to Jane for her email.
08 January 2012- A walk this morning revealed that the Harris Hawk (see below) was still present and flying around various parts of the park. Despite my efforts on the phone and via the internet no one has come forward yet to recover the bird and I hope that it can cope with the constant harrassment by the park's Carrion Crows and Magpies.
Good numbers of Redwings were still present this morning wth a flock of between㺨 and 50 seen in the Holly and Ivy along the edge of the Leaf Yard. A nice mixed tit flock around Pond 1 kept me busy and Goldcrest and Treecreeper were found along with with Great, Blue, Long-tailed and four Coal Tits. Three Mistle Thrush were in the Walled Gardens and a new year tick came in the form of three Collared Doves (Y41) that were feeding on the bowling greens. Out on the meadows a Green Woodpecker was seen in flight and another Mistle Thrush was noted too. A small flock of Goldfinches of perhaps 20 birds was seen in the Old Bat Roost area and whilst watching these a pair of Greylag Geese (Y42) flew over (see "record" photo below).
Also in the sky was a female Sparrowhawk along with numerous Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. On Pond 3, 42 Black-headed Gulls were counted. A pair of Mandarins were on the Canal Pond and only a single Coot was seen.
07 January 2012- A glorious sunny but breezy morning in the park today. Along the canal path a flock consisting of㺪 Goldfinches were seen feeding high up in the trees. Found in amongst them were small numbers of other finches including Chaffinches and Greenfinches but five Siskins (Y40) were also noted and especially welcome. On the Canal Pond, five Mandarins (3m,2f) were present along with the usual Coot, Moorhen and Mallard mix. Whilst walking out on to the meadows I noted that the Carrion Crows were very agitated nd that they appeared to be mobbing something in the Orchard Gate corner. From a distance I could see movement through the trees and thought that it may be a Tawny Owl caught out in the open. However, on closer views it was apparent that the focus of the crow's attention was a large bird of prey, in fact an adult male Harris Hawk!
The bird was sat high up in a tree and I noted anklets on it's legs which told me that this was an escaped a falconer's bird. This is a species that is found in the wild from the southern United States of America all the way down into southern South America. It is favoured by falconers not just for it's looks but also for it's incredibly powerful flight and hunting skills. It was an impressive raptor with simply stunning colours when it turned into the sunlight. After a few minutes it took flight and crashed through the trees along the canal before emerging close to the Wilderness Pond. Here it circled the meadow a couple of times, it's strong and effortless flight noted, before perching high on the conifer between the Paddling Pool and the Wilderness Pond. It was still perched here when I left the park later.
Other birds noted today were 50+ Redwings that were seen flying over and around the meadows before setlting in the Conifer Hedge area. Three Mistle Thrush were in trees above Pond 1 and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling from the Leaf Yard trees.
NB: I have made enquiries to locate the owner of the Harris Hawk, hopefully, both can be reunited soon. Fingers crossed.
02 January 2012- I did a follow up visit this morning to the park with the hope of adding a few more species to the year list. Starting in the gravel car park and taking the path towards Nacton Road I quickly came across a very large tit flock that held a lot of birds including 3+ Coal Tits and 5+ Goldcrests. I searched hard for a warbler hidden amongst them but to no avail. Good numbers of Blackbirds, Song Thrush and Redwings were still present in the woodlands but I could not find and Mistle Thrush or Fieldfares today. Ponds 1 and 2 were quiet apart from some Mallards and Moorhens. Pond 3 only held nine Black-headed Gulls and a few Mallards and there was no sign of the Mandarins from yesterday. The Meadows were also quiet with only Magpie and Carrion Crow on the ground. Overhead, numerous Herring Gulls passed through along with one or two Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The Orchard Hedge thicket contained a few Blue Tits and Chaffinches and a female Sparrowhawk (Y39) was noted patrolling in this area. Approximately 25 Goldfinches were present in the Beech trees around the Wilderness Pond. Carefull scrutiny failed to reveal any other species such as Siskin or Lesser Redpoll mixed in with them but a small flock of Blue Tits (see below) were actively feeding on the Beech mast too.
The Canal Pond, held the five Coot and a mixture of Mallards, Mallard hybrids and Moorhens. More Redwings and Blackbirds were found along the Canal Path.
01 January 2012- Firstly, Happy New Year to everyone, I hope 2012 is a great year for you all and your families. Thank you for continuing to follow and support this website.
AM- Parrish Colman was in the park this morning to kick start his year and whilst there managed to get a great photograph of a female Kingfisher (see below). Parrish also had an incredible encounter with a Peregrine Falcon that passed over his head whilst it was pursuing a Woodpigeon through the trees around Pond 6- a fantastic experience of predator power! A pair of Mandarins were also on Pond 6 along with a Grey Heron.
PM- Despite struggling with "man-flu" I ventured into the park early afternoon in order to kick off my 2012 park bird list and the following species were seen in the grey afternoon gloom as I wandered around.
Canal Path and Canal Pond/6: 1. Blue Tit, 2. Moorhen, 3. Blackbird, 4. Mallard, 5. Great Tit, 6. Woodpigeon, 7. Stock Dove, 8. Robin, 9. Wren, 10. Dunnock, 11. Carrion Crow, 12. Black-headed Gull, 13. Coot (5), 14. Little Egret (1), 15. Mandarin (m+f),
Bishops Hill Meadow: 16. Treecreeper, 17. Herring Gull, 18. Starling, 19. Song Thrush,
Eastern Woods: 20. Redwing, 21. Magpie, 22. Chaffinch, 23. Great Spotted Woodpecker, 24. Goldfinch (flocks of 23 & 42),
Pond 1 & 2 & Leaf Yard area: 25. Kingfisher, 26. Mistle Thrush, 27. Fieldfare,
Pond 3 & Moat: Little Egret again (see above) and another pair of Mandarins,
Old Bat Roost & Orchard Hedges & meadows: 28. Green Woodpecker, 29. Greenfinch (20+), 30. Goldcrest (flock of 5), 31. Long-tailed Tit (inc' 3 ringed birds), 32. Coal Tit, 33. Jay, 34. Lesser Black-backed Gull, 35. Ring-necked Pheasant (1m), 36. Rock Dove/ Feral Pigeon, 37. Jackdaw, 38. Grey Heron (1).
So with 38 species seen my year list is off to a great start. Of interest I saw 80 species in/over the park in 2011 with the highlights undoubtedly being Yellow-browed Warbler and Rough Legged Buzzard. What will 2012 bring to Holywells?