A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Friday, 13 March 2015

Serins at Gunner's Park - Essex

With the Lady Amherst’s Pheasants wrapped up by half 10 and the Essex Serins at Gunner’s Park being just an hour and a half away from Bedford, after a quick pit stop back at the hotel we were soon on our way!

Arriving at Gunner’s Park car park, I immediately clocked on to a group of birders with scopes and cameras  at the far end – clearly the Serins were nearby. Joining the group, they told us the pair had just flown in to a weedy scrubby patch of grass and were still presumably in there – they hadn’t been seen to fly away so it was just a matter or waiting and watching for them to appear.


Looking desperately for a few minutes, the birds remained hidden in the grass – were they still there even? Then, suddenly, one popped up on a dead plant in front of us, actively foraging amongst the seed. 

Serin, Gunner's Park, Essex

Serin, Gunner's Park, Essex
It gave good views before taking off high and flying round in a circle, later relocated in one of the alder trees surrounding the large pond. We followed the Serins for a good hour in the early afternoon sunshine, the birds returning to their favoured patch of grass at the far end of the car park by the houses, feeding amongst the grass and weeds and happily tolerating their many admirers.
Serin, Gunner's Park, Essex

Serin, Gunner's Park, Essex

Serin, Gunner's Park, Essex
It was great to catch up with these two birds, the 4 hour journey from Cheshire was just a little bit too far for me, but with the time cut down to under 2 hours from Bedfordshire, it was the ideal opportunity. Serins are always a bird that I’ve struggled to catch up with nearby – a brief report of one from the Wirral a couple of years ago was the closest near me, and the vast majority reported are often flyovers. It’s really unusual to get such a twitcher-friendly bird providing such great views, especially a gorgeous male – let alone two! I’ve seen Serins before whilst in Spain, but even then we didn’t have as good views as the two in Essex provided.
Serin, Gunner's Park, Essex

Serin, Gunner's Park, Essex
Overshooting from Europe, we get a scattering of records a year, and it was great to seize the opportunity to finally see these two at Gunner’s Park. Present for over a month now, originally they proved difficult to catch up with when they first arrived, elusive and only present briefly before disappearing for hours at a time as they presumably headed off over the adjacent houses. However, they seem to have settled in to a reliable pattern now, favouring their little scrubby grass patch on the car park opposite the row of houses, as well as the trees surrounding the large pond at the far end. Easily identified by their bright yellow colouration and characteristic yellow rump, it would be well worth learning the call to latch on to any flyovers that might occur in the future!
The Serins were busy feeding the whole time
This was a great opportunity to really admire these birds up close and they seemed totally unfased by our presence – I’m really glad I made the journey down! 

Serins at Gunner's Park, Essex
A map showing the locations the Serins favour near the car park at Gunner's Park

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...