Morden Hall Park February 2010Edit
6th February 2010 - (07.10hrs to 15.00hrs)Edit
A dull dank day with just the hint of brightness from midday. Temps stuggling to get above 6c, this in contrast to yesterday which was almost spring like. So generally a very non de-script kind of a day, (Temps 3c - 6c) wind light but with a easterlty element. Forecast is for a brief return of cold nights and frost although snow is not ruled out for next week either, Have to wait and see what the avian respose to this will be.
Well here we are made it into February and now on 71 species for the park this year with Mute Swan added to the list today. A fly-over bird that was well appreciated as Morden Hall in contrast to Ravensbury park which hold a resident pair is a bit Swan challenged. (Poor Birds have trouble here landing and taking off). Well what did we see ? Parakeets - Lots and Lots ! with an estimated c(65)+ birds present and around c(15) males / Pairs holding territories. The exotic flavour continued also with a pair of Egyptian Goose displaying ! A Strange affair involving flying around together calling loudly female in tow of the male followed by more calling and perching on trees. Nevertheless a rather nice goose when seen up close. This appeared to set the tone of the day with courtship noted from many species. Great Tit were displaying within the central park woodlands and Great Spotted Woodpecker (3 Pairs) males of which drumming well. In this respect and although Lesser spotted woodpecker have yet to be found. (Not present at the Moment). Nevertheless evidence of recent breeding is clear throughout the park, in particular the Ginkgo Tree (Maidenhair tree) in the rose garden, Alders and a willow along the river have been well used with the characteristic small neat holes clearly viable and fresh (So there is hope that this fast declining special little birds still has a toe hold in the park). Indeed it would be a great disappointment for me if Morden Hall Park was without LSW's. A crying shame, but coming back to Ring-necked parakeet I believe there are some significant correlations between the rise in RNP numbers at the park and the decline in LSW. a conflict between this species and woodpecker generally is noted over nest locations with the load brash parakeets responding to drumming woodpecker by mussel ling in on woodpecker territories. GSW and green woodpecker are robust enough to rebuff this interaction but LSW ,I am not so sure. However in defence of RNP, I have been to good quality woodland elsewhere where RNP are not a regular species and still LSW numbers at even these woodlands have or are declining fast. What is the answer ? The Wetlands, What can we say about the the most disappointing aspect of the park at present - It promises so much and delivers nothing. Or next to nothing (2 Water Rail today). What is wrong with this habitat, and why is it not being used in the way it should be? and indeed why are the Trust not looking at improving or more to the point restoring its attractiveness to over-wintering birds (Teal Snipe Shoveler etc.). because at one time this area use to be a magnet for wintering birds with c(70 - 80) teal utilising the area not un-common. What has happened in the last 10 years for this dramatic change to take place.
(I believe its poor management and lack of understanding of the requirements for over-wintering wetland species).
Also no Little Egret or Kingfishers today - This will become an increasingly common observation as the park gets busy into the spring and Angling disturbance escalates & intensifies
Well that's my grumble for today. more grumblings and further dis-contentment next we. Nevertheless Its not all bad / doom and gloom. Here are some pictures from today visit. Morden Hall Park's Classic (British) Parkland bird fauna. : ) --- Note the sarcasm, but like the birds.'
List: (See Morden Hall Park - Patch List Summary)
And now for a really classic British Parkland & Garden Birds - and one of my favourites.