Topics

Morefinches

Steve Blain
 

I had a brilliant day, but where were the rest of you? I only saw two
other birders all day!

My first stop was Warren Wood, but unfortunately the combination of
dogs and rain drops meant I struggled to see anything in the wood, let
alone a Hawfinch. Marsh Tit was the best on offer.

After the rain had mostly stopped I thought I'd try my luck at Wrest
Park. As soon as I walked past the end of the garages I could hear
Hawfinches calling. Within a few minutes I counted seven birds either
in the avenue of Lime trees or coming down to the Yew trees to feed on
the berries with the Greenfinches and Redwings. Brilliant views!
There would easily be more birds here as birds were seen all over the
east side of the park in the tree-tops. Richard Bashford and Stuart
Warren joined me not long after and we all enjoyed good views of
various birds mostly around the lime avenue (TL093354).

My next stop was Brogborough lake, where there were loads of Tufted
and Pochard (and 4 Goldeneye) but just as I was about to do a count a
guy on a paddleboard came through and all the ducks started to fly in
all directions. That was the end of that!

I popped up to Aspley Heath afterwards, but apart from looking great
for Hawfinches, all I found were a handful of Siskins and Redpolls. I
looked at various other bits of woodland in this area but to no avail.

Next up was the area around Drakelow pond on the edge of Woburn Park.
This area looks excellent for Hawfinches too, with loads of Yew trees,
and apart from hearing one bird with a flock of Redwings I saw nothing
more. This bird was just beyond the gate from the town in to the
park, and apparently just where Richard had a bird earlier in the day
too (SP95233).

By now it was getting and as Richard had his Southill birds just
before dusk I thought I'd try there next. I arrived at the clearing
about 3:20 and it didn't take long before birds were droping in to the
tree-tops opposite. Lots of Chaffinches are apparently roosting here,
with a continual arrival of birds all the time I was there. I managed
to pick out a male Brambling before some familiar hefty looking shapes
flew over - more Hawfinches! Over the next 25 minutes or so
Hawfinches were almost always on show, with the birds always coming in
from the Old Warden side and perching up in the very tops of the
trees. Richard again turned up and between us we had a min of 16, but
perhaps up to 20 birds coming in to roost with the Chaffinches. A
cracking end to the day!

If you fancy trying Southill you will need a scope - these birds are
distant but readily identifiable. We viewed from the footpath at
TL135431 and the birds were perching up in trees here TL138430

Best of luck!

--
Steve Blain
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beds Bird Recorder
Bedfordshire Bird Club
http://www.bedsbirdclub.org.uk

Make your bird records go further for conservation; use www.birdtrack.net

Ian Conn
 

Hi Steve,

I have never been to Wrest Park before, can you advise where to park please.
Looks like there is a fee but maybe that's just for the house ?
Looks like parking opportunities on the East side near the Porsche garage, then walk south briefly to the TL093354 area.

Thanks, Ian

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Blain
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:16 PM
To: bedsbirds@groups.io
Subject: [bedsbirds] Morefinches

I had a brilliant day, but where were the rest of you? I only saw two
other birders all day!

My first stop was Warren Wood, but unfortunately the combination of
dogs and rain drops meant I struggled to see anything in the wood, let
alone a Hawfinch. Marsh Tit was the best on offer.

After the rain had mostly stopped I thought I'd try my luck at Wrest
Park. As soon as I walked past the end of the garages I could hear
Hawfinches calling. Within a few minutes I counted seven birds either
in the avenue of Lime trees or coming down to the Yew trees to feed on
the berries with the Greenfinches and Redwings. Brilliant views!
There would easily be more birds here as birds were seen all over the
east side of the park in the tree-tops. Richard Bashford and Stuart
Warren joined me not long after and we all enjoyed good views of
various birds mostly around the lime avenue (TL093354).

My next stop was Brogborough lake, where there were loads of Tufted
and Pochard (and 4 Goldeneye) but just as I was about to do a count a
guy on a paddleboard came through and all the ducks started to fly in
all directions. That was the end of that!

I popped up to Aspley Heath afterwards, but apart from looking great
for Hawfinches, all I found were a handful of Siskins and Redpolls. I
looked at various other bits of woodland in this area but to no avail.

Next up was the area around Drakelow pond on the edge of Woburn Park.
This area looks excellent for Hawfinches too, with loads of Yew trees,
and apart from hearing one bird with a flock of Redwings I saw nothing
more. This bird was just beyond the gate from the town in to the
park, and apparently just where Richard had a bird earlier in the day
too (SP95233).

By now it was getting and as Richard had his Southill birds just
before dusk I thought I'd try there next. I arrived at the clearing
about 3:20 and it didn't take long before birds were droping in to the
tree-tops opposite. Lots of Chaffinches are apparently roosting here,
with a continual arrival of birds all the time I was there. I managed
to pick out a male Brambling before some familiar hefty looking shapes
flew over - more Hawfinches! Over the next 25 minutes or so
Hawfinches were almost always on show, with the birds always coming in
from the Old Warden side and perching up in the very tops of the
trees. Richard again turned up and between us we had a min of 16, but
perhaps up to 20 birds coming in to roost with the Chaffinches. A
cracking end to the day!

If you fancy trying Southill you will need a scope - these birds are
distant but readily identifiable. We viewed from the footpath at
TL135431 and the birds were perching up in trees here TL138430

Best of luck!

--
Steve Blain
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beds Bird Recorder
Bedfordshire Bird Club
http://www.bedsbirdclub.org.uk

Make your bird records go further for conservation; use www.birdtrack.net

Steve Blain
 

Ian, that’s exactly what I did. Parked by the garage at the end of the drive past the house, then walked south on the footpath to view over to the grounds.

Just heard from Andy Grimsey that he’s seen at least six there this morning.

Steve
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beds Bird Recorder

Make your bird records go further for conservation; use www.birdtrack.net

On 12 Nov 2017, at 08:45, Ian Conn via Groups.Io <ian.conn@...> wrote:

Hi Steve,

I have never been to Wrest Park before, can you advise where to park please.
Looks like there is a fee but maybe that's just for the house ?
Looks like parking opportunities on the East side near the Porsche garage, then walk south briefly to the TL093354 area.

Thanks, Ian

-----Original Message----- From: Steve Blain
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:16 PM
To: bedsbirds@groups.io
Subject: [bedsbirds] Morefinches

I had a brilliant day, but where were the rest of you? I only saw two
other birders all day!

My first stop was Warren Wood, but unfortunately the combination of
dogs and rain drops meant I struggled to see anything in the wood, let
alone a Hawfinch. Marsh Tit was the best on offer.

After the rain had mostly stopped I thought I'd try my luck at Wrest
Park. As soon as I walked past the end of the garages I could hear
Hawfinches calling. Within a few minutes I counted seven birds either
in the avenue of Lime trees or coming down to the Yew trees to feed on
the berries with the Greenfinches and Redwings. Brilliant views!
There would easily be more birds here as birds were seen all over the
east side of the park in the tree-tops. Richard Bashford and Stuart
Warren joined me not long after and we all enjoyed good views of
various birds mostly around the lime avenue (TL093354).

My next stop was Brogborough lake, where there were loads of Tufted
and Pochard (and 4 Goldeneye) but just as I was about to do a count a
guy on a paddleboard came through and all the ducks started to fly in
all directions. That was the end of that!

I popped up to Aspley Heath afterwards, but apart from looking great
for Hawfinches, all I found were a handful of Siskins and Redpolls. I
looked at various other bits of woodland in this area but to no avail.

Next up was the area around Drakelow pond on the edge of Woburn Park.
This area looks excellent for Hawfinches too, with loads of Yew trees,
and apart from hearing one bird with a flock of Redwings I saw nothing
more. This bird was just beyond the gate from the town in to the
park, and apparently just where Richard had a bird earlier in the day
too (SP95233).

By now it was getting and as Richard had his Southill birds just
before dusk I thought I'd try there next. I arrived at the clearing
about 3:20 and it didn't take long before birds were droping in to the
tree-tops opposite. Lots of Chaffinches are apparently roosting here,
with a continual arrival of birds all the time I was there. I managed
to pick out a male Brambling before some familiar hefty looking shapes
flew over - more Hawfinches! Over the next 25 minutes or so
Hawfinches were almost always on show, with the birds always coming in
from the Old Warden side and perching up in the very tops of the
trees. Richard again turned up and between us we had a min of 16, but
perhaps up to 20 birds coming in to roost with the Chaffinches. A
cracking end to the day!

If you fancy trying Southill you will need a scope - these birds are
distant but readily identifiable. We viewed from the footpath at
TL135431 and the birds were perching up in trees here TL138430

Best of luck!

--
Steve Blain
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beds Bird Recorder
Bedfordshire Bird Club
http://www.bedsbirdclub.org.uk

Make your bird records go further for conservation; use www.birdtrack.net