Saturday, 30 June 2012

Large Skipper
Large Skipper
The last day of June, and the last full patch walk of June, the weather was, as has been all month, pretty poor, with the odd shower and an annoying blustery wind, but later in the morning there was at least a few sunny spells starting to come through.

I wasn't expecting much today, however it turned out to be a good visit with an excellent 52 species being found, that despite not finding the likes of Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Turtle Dove or Mistle Thrush, all species that could have been expected today, with a bit more fortune I could have been pushing the holy grail of sixty species in a day  :-)

Fortune did arrive today though, when I added KINGFISHER (64) to the June species list, two maybe three birds were seen along the College Stream and in the adjacent Grounds, they were trumped however by the sighting of my first COMMON TERN (99, 65) of the year, one flew from the NW over Ashes Lane, heading SE, that's 99 species for the year now just one more for the 100!  :-)

A GREY HERON flew over, as did a CORMORANT the latter only the 3rd record this month, also up in the sky was noted many SWIFTS moving through, with smaller numbers of HOUSE MARTINS, I think the latter were feeding rather than heading south, a bit early yet for them to leave. A HOBBY was one of four fantastic raptor species seen to today, the others being the SPARROWHAWK, a pair of BUZZARDS that flew from the Greenhouse Copse and the KESTREL pair, the male of which was watched hunting, it was seen catching a vole, then taking it to the nest box, so surely there are young in there  :-)

Other nice species seen today were LESSER WHITETHROAT in the Tree Nursery, SPOTTED FLYCATCHER at the College Grounds and a LITTLE OWL at the Small Holding. Only one of the adult COOTS were seen at the lakes, with one of the two youngsters, but the other youngster and adult could have been obscured from my view.

Few butterflies were noted, just Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and Large Skipper, all seen at the Tree Nursery.

Well that wraps up another months birding at Pittswood, the wettest June for 100 years ( and probably the windiest!)  It wasn't quite all doom and gloom though, the Hen Harrier sighting was brilliant record, and a new June species, the Barnacle Goose was less exciting, but none the less a new June species too, bringing the 11 year combined June tally to 87 species. The month ended with a total of 65 species being recorded, which is two better than the mean average, and in joint 4th position out of 11, ending just 3 behind the record June tally of 68 which was achieved in 2010.

The photo's today were hard to come by, but I was pleased to get the young SWALLOWS, ( I did take a few images of them too!) and it's always good to photograph the Spotted Flycathers  :-)
Spotted Flycatcher at the College Grounds

Spotted Flycatcher
Swallow feeding young
Young Swallow
Young Swallow
Young sibling Swallows
Sibling Swallows
Sibling Swallows


ShySongbird said...

Wonderful Swallow photos Warren! Mind you all the photos are excellent. It sounds like you had a pretty good day and the Kestrel news sounds hopeful :-) Well done with the Common Tern too.

Heavy downpours here again!

Rohrerbot said...

I know how you feel with the comment "Pics were hard to come by" BUT you got some amazing Swallow shots in there. They are some of the most difficult birds to capture. Yesterday I was able to get Barn Swallows here in Tucson for the first time just sitting and posing for me.....that was a treat. Probably the highlight of the day:) Well that and a Black Witch Moth....another treat. Love the've got some nice varieties fluttering around:)

Warren Baker said...

Hi Songbird,
Thanks - yes it was a better day here than recent visits, its always better on a mornings full patch walk though.

Warren Baker said...

Thanks Rohrerbot,
The Swallows will only be here for a few months more, so i'll make the most of them!

Mike H said...

Love those Swallow shots Warren, and the spot flys are very good too.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Tantalisingly close now , but no problem I'm sure .
Great juv. Swallow shots .

Marc Heath said...

Liking the Flycatcher shots, but the Large Skipper gets my vote.