Thursday, 19 May 2011

Hilly Fields Dawn Chorus walk

Over a dozen insomniacs joined Chris McGaw of Rivers and People Project for this dawn chorus stroll around the park, and we were well rewarded.
Some of the 5am insomniacs

Full moon over the Nature Reserve
As we made our way towards the Nature Reserve we had a glorious full moon in front of us and the rising sun behind.
Sun rising over Lewisham
We heard Wren, Blackbird, Woodpigeon and Ring-necked Parakeet in the Nature Reserve but the most notable was the Blackcap.

Later, on the road past the school we stopped to admire the Long-tailed Tits, Goldfinches, a Chaffinch and also heard a Dunnock.

Chaffinch beside the school
On the west side of the North Fields there was a flock of 10 Magpies then, beside the cricket pitch with some Woodpigeon were a pair of Stock Doves and, on the hillside behind them, three Mistle Thrush.

We are all very grateful to Chris for this morning's wonderful walk and look forwards to another next year.  Let's hope the proposed cafe will be open in time for a welcome cuppa then!
We saw or heard 20 species this morning, for a complete list click below:

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Getting ready for the Dawn Chorus

I had a quick recce around the park between 04:45 and 05:15 this morning in preparation for Thursday's walk.  Didn't see a lot because it was quite a dull and overcast morning, but what a chorus!
Hilly Fields at 5am
What I did see this morning were Blackbird, Starling, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Robin and Mistle Thrush.  I heard lots but was particularly pleased to recognise a Blackcap, because I only learnt its banging-two-stones-together call on last Tuesday's dawn chorus walk with Chris along Waterlink Way.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

See the Bird Track stats for Hilly Fields

You can peruse the stats that Bird Track has for Hilly Fields after first registering here then log-on to BirdTrack and click Species by Grid at the bottom of the Data Home page.

This will take you to the Species by Location page where you must first Choose your area using one of the four options provided. 

The fastest, if you can remember the code, is Option 4) where you enter TQ 3775, otherwise use Option 2) choosing England then London Nat Hist Soc then Hilly Fields Park.  Then click Next.

Under Choose buffer size click Option 1) no buffer.

Finally in Choose your time period and sort criteria select whatever you need (I usually leave the defaults) and click Go.

The area covered by the stats is a 1km square with the entire park in the bottom left and Lewisham Station at top right, but the majority of the stats are ours (except, among others, the Pheasant!).  If you then click on a species name, further stats are revealed, such as that Pheasant on 8 Feb 11 in Revelon Road and these graphs of House Sparrow sightings.
Example of stats from BirdTrack

Please try it.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A Cuckoo!

I've just been reminded that on my way home from the dawn chorus walk I heard a Cuckoo in Hilly Fields Park!

Waterlink Way dawn chorus walk

Four of us met Chris McGaw at 5am today for a dawn chorus walk. 
Small group joined Chris (using bins) at 5am
We were not disappointed, the final list being:

Blackcap (*)
Blue Tit
Carrion Crow
Chiffchaff (*)
Collared Dove
Dunnock (*)
Feral Pigeon
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit (*)
Green Woodpecker (*)
Herring Gull
House Sparrow (*)
Lesser Whitethroat (*)
Long-tailed Tit
Mistle Thrush
Ring-necked Parakeet
Robin (*)
Song Thrush (*)

*: Heard but not seen by me.
I do hope you'll join us on our own Dawn Chorus Walk in Hilly Fields on the 19th