Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A LESSER WHITETHROAT was seen in Ashes Lane as I walked to work this morning, the first recorded since early this month, where do they hide ?
Crossing Migrant Alley the SWALLOWS were again queing for the water trough, four SKYLARKS chased around the uncut silage field, while five BLACK HEADED GULLS flew over low and slow, looking great in their breeding plumage, ive learned to appreciate these Gulls, most of my sightings are in the Autumn /winter period, when they have lost their hoods, and look quite different.

Whilst walking back home I saw that the silage field had started to be cut, barely a month after it's first cropping, such is the speed of it's growth after being heavily fertilized, unfortunately, modern farming being totally out of sinc with nature, means that for a second time any Skylarks nests will have been destroyed. Years ago there would have been just one cut, in mid to late July, giving time for the ground nesters to breed.

I went back over to watch the grass silage being cut after I had refuled with something to eat and drink, and despite the showery weather this morning, it had turned out hot and humid again, sapping any energy I had left after a hard mornings work :-) I didn't get any further than my skywatching seat, and spent a couple of hours looking out for anything that might be attracted to the insects put up from the mowed grass.

The first things to arrive were the Swallows, shortly followed by a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, then later, two more joined it, with a HERRING GULL. Higher up around 20 SWIFTS circled round, whilst 2 pairs of PIED WAGTAILS made the most of the winged prey, ferrying to and from the Greenhouse Complex where they nest, they must be on second broods now. A mixed flock of ROOKS, CARRION CROWS and JACKDAWS came down after the Tractor had finished, these were all put up by a Passing SPARROWHAWK. The local KESTREL got in on the act, hoverring over the cut field, but soon moved off after finding nothing mammalian.

This Lesser Black backed Gull came near enough for a photo.

The Sparrowhawk didn't really come near enough though, but I took a photo anyway
Walking back home, I saw this nice looking Large Skipper - rude not to photograph such a good looking specimen!


Phil said...

There was a Lesser Whitethroat singing at Dungeness yesterday Warren but I didn't manage to see it as usual. Nice to get the Large Skipper, only found one myself so far this year.

The Early Birder said...

Great shame there is not enough sympathetic farming for Skylarks. Most of my sightings today where below ankle level apart from begging youngsters hidden deep in the shrubbery. I'm sure I've seen both Skips today..nice shot of the Large Warren.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Our first small skippers today Warren, out on a still warm afternoon following last night's thunderstorm but we never heard any thunder just saw plenty of lightning; weird.
One day left for a late last newy for june....


Chris said...

Hi Warren,
I'm not gonna or hear a lesser whitethroat around here mate ;-) A pity for the larks nest but this is how humanity works! Hope the sky will clear up a bit for you like for us ;-)

Anonymous said...

I`m also ready for some cooler weather, Warren. You just can`t function right in this heat.

ShySongbird said...

Modern farming has done so much damage, it is such a terrible shame!

Definitely a very handsome Large Skipper, Warren.

The humidity here is overpowering :(