Des Bowring's Blog (74)

Bird walks in the park - see you in January!

The popular Sunday morning bird walks will be starting again in January 2017. Watch this space for more details!

Added by Des Bowring on September 12, 2016 at 12:10 — No Comments

Bird walk 17 April

A beautiful sunny morning and some suitably spring-like bird activity observed! The full list as follows:

Mistle Thrush - a nest was located (see Simon's photo) and at least one youngster was seen. Parent birds nearby. Excellent stuff!

Coal Tit - 1 in song

Blue Tit - a few heard and seen

Great Tit - several heard

Robin - 1 or 2

Blackbird - several…


Added by Des Bowring on April 17, 2016 at 16:25 — 2 Comments

Dawn Chorus at Narroways

Hi all

I'll be leading a dawn chorus walk on Narroways Local Nature Reserve on Saturday 9 April. Full details here


Added by Des Bowring on April 2, 2016 at 16:42 — No Comments

Bird walk 21 February

Despite the wild wind and drizzle a few hardy souls turned up for this walk. There was a surprising amount of bird song despite the conditions and at least it was mild. The list in full:

Redwing - a count of 15 birds by one participant was very impressive

Starling - a mini-murmuration of 40 birds

Blackbird - a few

Dunnock - 1 or 2 heard

Blue Tit - seen by one of us

Great Tit - 1 by the bowling green

Long-tailed Tit - seen on 2…


Added by Des Bowring on February 21, 2016 at 17:00 — No Comments

Bird walk 17 Jan 2016

Well I thought today would be a wash-out, with overcast conditions and drizzle putting everyone, including me, off the idea of birding in the park. How wrong could I be? It turned out to be a classic walk! The list is as follows:

Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 seen well near the children's play area. A rare visitor to the park.

Redwing - a flock of up to 20 seen in the trees and feeding on the ground - a good…


Added by Des Bowring on January 17, 2016 at 13:49 — 2 Comments

Bird walk 13 Dec

The mild and overcast conditions meant that our Christmas walk wasn't very Christmassy, but there were plenty of birds. The full list is as follows:

Robin - a few seen and heard

Blackbird - 4 or 5 seen

Wren - 1 or 2 in song and 2 seen in a front garden across the road

Redwing - 2 or 3 seen

Starling - a group of up to 10 seen in the 'starling tree'.



Added by Des Bowring on December 13, 2015 at 16:30 — 2 Comments

Bird walk 15 November

Well, we turned up but the birds didn't! We finished with one of the lowest bird counts ever, but luckily we had both fungi and invertebrate experts among our number so there was something else to look at. The complete list, for what it's worth:

Woodpigeon - very hard to find until the end of the walk when a few were seen

Feral Pigeon - several seen

Magpie - one or two

Crow - a…


Added by Des Bowring on November 15, 2015 at 13:41 — 2 Comments

Bird walk cancelled shock!

I'm going to be in London next Sunday when the St Andrews Park bird walk is scheduled. Unless someone can stand in for me, I will have to cancel or postpone the event.


Added by Des Bowring on October 11, 2015 at 14:57 — No Comments

St Andrews Park - nitrous oxide capital!

While strolling around the park at lunchtime I was amazed to see the number of people inhaling nitrous oxide. Some were doing it in circles on the grass and others while sat on benches. I know that the practice is legal and I don't care what young people do in their spare time but are there any bye-laws covering this particular pursuit in the park?

Added by Des Bowring on September 27, 2015 at 15:25 — 1 Comment

Bird walk 20 September

A good turn-out for the first walk of the autumn and a warm welcome to those who attended for the first time. There were no surprises bird-wise, but it was a pleasure to be out in such nice weather. The list is as follows:

Wren - a couple in rather subdued song

Robin - at least 1 seen and 4 or 5 singing around the park

Dunnock - a couple seen and heard

Blackbird - a few seen



Added by Des Bowring on September 20, 2015 at 14:47 — 1 Comment

Bird walk 3 May

The special event attracted a good number of enthusiastic and knowledgeable people but the birds and the weather were rather less impressive! The full list is as follows:

Goldfinch - lots around, calling, singing and showing well

Chaffinch - at least 2 heard singing

Greenfinch - 1 heard briefly at the pond

Blackbird - a few around

Mistle Thrush - 1…


Added by Des Bowring on May 3, 2015 at 17:18 — No Comments

Coming Soon! Moth Nights!

I'm hoping to do a bit of moth trapping in the park this summer. I will probably choose week-nights where the forecast is for warm temperatures and preferably cloudy skies. Just an experiment, really, and I will publicise it on the website for any interested people to come along!

Watch this space!


Added by Des Bowring on May 2, 2015 at 10:04 — No Comments

Bird walk 19 April 15

A quiet day bird-wise, with the cool wind and low temperature possibly suppressing bird activity. There were some interesting moments, though. The full list as follows:

Robin - just 1 or 2 seen and heard

Blue Tit - a few heard and seen

Great Tit - 3 or 4 chiming away and seen feeding

Coal Tit - 1 seen visiting a garden feeder and then entering a nest cavity in a house opposite the park. Luckily, a…


Added by Des Bowring on April 19, 2015 at 17:30 — No Comments

Eclipse in the park!

Yesterday the park was a favoured destination for local eclipse-watchers. Several groups of people were present and a real spirit of shared experience prevailed. I was able to see the eclipse through one kind gentleman's special glasses and I brought along my own pinhole camera set up.

At the height of the eclipse, the park was bathed in a metallic twilight. The birds carried on singing and feeding as normal though.

Here's to the next eclipse on the park!

Added by Des Bowring on March 21, 2015 at 9:00 — No Comments

Bird walk 15 March 2015

Although the chilly, overcast weather suggested winter was unwilling to relinquish its grip, there were thankfully a few signs of spring. The full list is as follows:

Redwing - about 40 counted. A remarkable count for a small urban park.

Starling - at least 20 seen, often associating with the thrushes

Mistle Thrush - we wondered if there might be 2 pairs in the park and that one individual might have been prospecting for…


Added by Des Bowring on March 15, 2015 at 14:30 — No Comments

Bird walk 18th January

A gorgeously crisp winter's morning and a good selection of birds - what more could you ask? The full list is as follows:

Blackcap - up to 3 seen, both male and female birds mainly near the bowling green

Redwing - about 10 birds seen, giving close views

Mistle Thrush - 1 bird seen and song heard

Blackbird - several birds seen

Robin - 2 or 3 birds…


Added by Des Bowring on January 18, 2015 at 16:42 — 4 Comments

Bird walk 16 November

By recent standards this was a fairly uneventful walk, but it was enlivened at the end by Simon spotting a Sparrowhawk. The list in full: 

Sparrowhawk - 1 soaring above the park. A fairly large and stocky bird meant that this was likely to have been a female

Chaffinch - a few showed well

Goldfinch - good numbers feeding in the treetops

Starling - several

Woodpigeon -…


Added by Des Bowring on November 16, 2014 at 17:32 — 6 Comments

Bird walk 19 October

Very occasionally something unusual turns up in the park. In the past we've had Waxwings, a Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and the odd fly-over Peregrine or Buzzard. Nothing quite prepared us for this morning's star bird, however. Short-eared Owls breed on moorland in the north and west of the UK and at this time of year move to coastal sites in the south for the winter. We also get an influx of birds from mainland Europe in most autumns. To see one flying only at tree height over…


Added by Des Bowring on October 19, 2014 at 17:06 — 2 Comments

Bird walk 21 September 2014

Not a bad morning considering the leaves on the trees making bird spotting rather difficult. The full list as follows:

Great Spotted Woodpecker - one female showed well near the pond

Jay - two or three showing well

Coal Tit - one gave good views near the pond

Mistle Thrush - one near the toilets

Blue Tit - one or two

Great Tit - several calling and one singing

Robin - several songsters

Blackbird - two or three including a juvenile and…


Added by Des Bowring on September 21, 2014 at 16:36 — No Comments

Bird walk 18 May

Beautiful weather this morning but few surprises as regards the birds although there was plenty of song. List as follows:

Mistle Thrush - a pair were watched feeding, but there was no evidence they were feeding young

Robin - 1 seen

Blackbird - a few

Starling - 2 seen from the cafe area

Feral Pigeon - just 1 seen

Woodpigeon - a…


Added by Des Bowring on May 18, 2014 at 17:13 — No Comments

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