Thursday, 24 July 2008

Whats this ? Read on!

This mornings walk in was bliss, cool clean air, and a just warming up sun, shame I had to go to work! On the way, 42 GREY LAG GEESE flew over in formation, a common, and overlooked species, but still spectacular as they go low over. A YELLOWHAMMER sang in the distance, SWALLOWS were on the power cables Above migrant alley, and lots of PIED WAGTAILS fed in the paddocks, mostly Juv. birds.
This afternoons walk was hot, the temperature was almost 30C. I set out at 13.45, not expecting much, but thought there may be a few butterflies about. I was pleasantly surprised when I found a Small Copper Butterfly, in the tree nursery, only the second one found on my patch, in 7 years of surveying. I was well chuffed with that. While firing off a few pics of it, I could here the incessant calls of a young bird in an oak tree, it was a few minutes before the penny dropped, and I realised it was a CUCKOO ! The first this month, not surprising, as I have only recorded Cuckoo's in two other july's, 2004 and 2006. They were adults though, this is the first ''just from the nest'' Cuckoo i've found. I waited under the tree for some minutes trying to see it, and it wasn't until a DUNNOCK arrived with a beak full of insects for it, that I saw it. The Dunnock was probably the 'host' parent, but when young Cuckoo's call for food, passing birds may well feed them.
I wanted to get a shot of the Dunnock feeding the Cuckoo chick, but the foilage in the tree was too thick and the wind too strong, I took some pics and didn't overstay.
I walked on, past the small pool, nothing much there, and along the hedgerow leading to migrant alley, two GOLDFINCH were feeding on thistles there. At migrant alley I could really feel the heat! A few dozen ROOKS were around the puddle that was left by the leaky water trough, (now fixed) but little else was about. After a circuit of the fields, I was flagging, it was too hot. At 15:00 I decided, I would come out again this evening, and so I trudged of home.
I'll report later on this evenings walk.

Above and below only my second small copper record on my patch.

Below are a couple more shots of the juv. Cuckoo, not great, it was dark under the oak, and the wind was blowing me, and the tree about!


Warren Baker said...

Thanks Greenie for The Darter ID.The Info was you wrote was interesting. There seems to be a difference of opinion on the green veined Butterfly!

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Well done with the juv. Cuckoo and Small Copper shots .
A Dunnock feeding Cuckoo shot would have been the icing on the cake - perhaps next time .

Steve said...

Great news about the Small Copper and brilliant pics of the Cuckoo...

fishing guy said...

Warren: Hawk photos are always wonderful.