Monday, 4 June 2012

The 50th full patch visit of the year took place in the most un-summer like conditions I have encountered in the 11 years of summer recording at Pittswood. A cold NW wind blew heavy drizzle across the area, looking like a thick smoke, the long grass and low vegetation was coated in a film of water, soaking anything that brushed past it - namely me!

I persevered with the visit however, and eventually the low cloud lifted, and the drizzle stopped, but it remained cool in the wind. The patch visits in June are primarily used to confirm successful breeding, and I did add a couple more species for this year when a single WREN fledgling was seen in the hedgerow at Migrant Alley, also, earlier I had noted, before leaving on my walk, a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER had brought one of its young to my garden feeders. The cool, wet weather of late will no doubt be taking its toll on many young birds his spring however  :-(

By the end of the 5 hour visit, I had racked up a somewhat surprising total of 48 species, but it was really hard work winkling them out, as actual bird numbers were quite low. The College Grounds held most interest today, a pair of LONG TAILED TITS (54) and a singing COAL TIT (55) were the first of those species to be seen this month, also a pair of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS were bonding, the male seen feeding the female, four HOUSE MARTINS (56), the first for June, circled the out buildings, and hopefully they were thinking of nesting here.

Passing through Migrant Alley for a second time, a few HERRING GULLS were seen going over, with them were two LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS,  the local SWIFTS and SWALLOWS were feeding low over the sheep pasture, hunting for any available insects, while at the wooded headland is was nice to hear a TURTLE DOVE singing.

Making my way over to the lakes, via the Tree Nursery, the first SPARROWHAWK (57) of the month flew past carrying its prey. The lakes themselves were virtually empty of waterfowl ( not unusual!) just a single MALLARD, a single CANADA GOOSE and  two MOORHEN were seen, with no sign of the Coot family today, hopefully they are sheltering up somewhere unseen. One more species was added to the June list as I walked through the Wet Woods when the female MANDARIN DUCK (58) was seen, she has managed to bring along five of the nine young that I found here last month. The only regularly seen species missing off the June list now is the Treecreeper, which I will hopefully find sometime this week, although the weather doesn't look to be getting much better!  :-)

A later visit to the College Grounds was had, and it had brightened up ( slightly!) so i took my camera, and managed a couple dark, grainy shots.
Spotted Flycatcher


Marc Heath said...

I must confess the bad weather worked well for me today but not for the camera, nice shots considering the light you had.

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Marc,
It seems we've lurched from one weather extreme to the other this spring!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

A good day in spite of the conditions Warren - worth sticking it out for!



Warren Baker said...

Lets hope the weather has ''bottomed'' out Davo, need some warmth in my old bones :-)

ShySongbird said...

Sounds like it was worse weather there than here not that it was anything special here. Some nice sunshine now it's too late!

That's a lovely Goldcrest photo :-)