Trip reports

Hainault Country Park Walk on 12th Oct 2019

Hainault Country Park Walk on 12th Oct 2019
Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Thanks to Rich for the write-up:

The morning was a little overcast with some light rain, but this did not dampen our excitement for exploring once again this vast parkland and forest. As we waited for everyone to arrive at the car park a Pied Wagtail with its bounding flight called overhead.
We then set off and made our way down towards the first corner of the lake where a 'charm' of 20-30 Goldfinches flew over. These small, colourful finches at this time of year can often be seen in decent sized flocks on this site as they feed on the teasels and other seed heads that are abundant. We were then reminded of the season when a handsome Jay flew nearby carrying an acorn in its mouth!

On the lake, handsome male Mallards in their fresh plumage following their summer moult dabbled while several pairs of Shoveler swam in a line filtering the water for insects and other tiny creatures with their long, broad bills. A number of Cormorants were present, some were diving for fish while others stood motionless on the jetty drying their wings. Another fisherman was trying his luck, a lone Grey Heron stood very still on the edge of the lake peering into the water enabling our group nice views through the scopes.

As we moved further round, a couple of Mute Swans swam quite close to the bank expecting some bread to be thrown in, instead all they got was an inquisitive dog and they hissed loudly when it got too close to them.
We then headed towards the open area that sits adjacent to the forest, a Brown Rat scurried across the path in front of us and we caught glimpses of Green Woodpecker flying from out of the wood and disappearing just as quick amongst the long tussocks. We scanned the large grassland space before us and found a Meadow Pipit preening itself on a bush, it looked a little bedraggled in the rain.

Also spotted were a couple of immature Stonechats at they perched on top of the gorse bushes and then when they spotted some prey would drop to the floor before returning to the same bush, this behaviour is characteristic of this species and helps identify when seen from afar.
We moved onto the woodland where a flock of noisy Jackdaws flew overhead and mixed flocks of Great and Blue Tits foraged for food amongst the bare branches. A Nuthatch called nearby out of sight and then we were treated to really good views of two Green Woodpeckers as they fed on the golf course that lies the other side of the wood. This made up for the brief views we had earlier!
As we carried on a Muntjac Deer was spotted creeping along the tree line and also a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew above us calling. We finished at the café and watched a flock of Starlings flying around as we sipped our coffees.

Total different bird species spotted: 30