Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Endcliffe Park Wood

So today was my last full day in Sheffield, but I had arranged to see many people to say goodbye. However, I had the afternoon to myself so decided to go for a walk in Endcliffe Park Wood up to where I thought I had heard garden warbler before.
Starting in Endcliffe Park, along the edge of the top pond there was a very bold family of moorhens, 1 adult with 5 well grown juveniles. I was sat on the bank and they would come within 2 feet of me, I could have reached out and touch them if I had wanted. I tried some photos but the light was quite poor and the birds, ridiculas though it sounds, were too close, but I got a few decent snaps.
-Moorhen Chick
I continued up and in Whiteley Woods I got a bird that I really had not expected to find. It was a Dipper, only my second this year. It was not really hunting but just casually resting on the side of the river. I tried to get some photos but it was far too dark. I did get a great view of the bird though, and it did not seem to bothered by me being there.
I carried on up past Forge Dam where there was not much besides the Mallards, Moorhens and Woodpigeons. I did not spend much time there, but I did find a few nuthatches, maybe a family but difficult to tell, in the woods behind the dam.
When I passed the dam things began to get interesting. First I heard what I thought was a green woodpecker, but as it continued I realised that was not the case and that it was a bird of prey. I began to try and find it but it flew off before I could find it. I moved out into the open to see if I could relocate it, and had some success. At first I spotted 2 Sparrowhawks flying over a tree in the distance, which I figured must have been the source of the call. These birds were then joined by a Buzzard, but as I looked through the bins I observed the buzzard was being heavily mobbed by another smaller bird. I had a quick glance through my photos and noted that it was not a swift but a falcon, and due to its small size I wondered if it was a hobby.
I lost the bird behind the trees and when they re-appeared only the buzzard was there. The buzzard however soon became 2 buzzards as they soared in the air around. They even landed in some of the trees but they were some way away, and too far for a photo.
Back at the flat I checked the photos of the small falcon and it is a Kestrel, as indicated by the dark boundary between the primaries and the secondaries on the upper wing. It was exciting but sadly not what I had hoped.
-Kestrel and Buzzard
I continued a little way until I reached where I thought I had heard the warblers previously. I heard a similar call and tracked down the bird making it, finally getting eyes on it, only for it to show itself as a male Blackcap, a stunning bird in its own right, but sadly not the bird I had hoped for. I think from this discovery that I need to work on my calls between these two species.
The walk on the way back did not yield much, Jay in the distance and another Blackcap, as well as the usual Robins and Blackbirds. I had a good time but did not get the warblers I had hoped. It started to rain on the way back so I made my way back quickly due to the fact I was very unprepared for such a turn in the weather.

Species List:
Endcliffe Park Wood: Kestrel, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Woodpigeon, Jay, Robin, Blackbird, Moorhen, Mallard, Blackcap, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Nuthatch, Dunnock, Great Tit, Feral Pigeon, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, 

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