Another 5 hour patch walk was had, which produced a tally of 47 species, about average for mid May. It now looks likely all the summer migrants that breed on my patch have arrived, so attention is switched more to finding successful breeding evidence, and today I found a couple more species to add to this years list, the first was the MANDARIN DUCK, a female was escorting 10 new ducklings around the pools of water in the Wet Woods, this is the fourth consecutive year they have bred there. The second was a species that has not bred on my patch in the previous 12 years, yes, at last, the MUTE SWANS have have successfully bred on my patch, only one cygnet seems to have been hatched out, but a most welcome sight it was.
|Mute Swan and Cygnet|
|They stayed far out on the pond, but I got the record shots :-)|
A few more highlights from earlier in the visit were, a SPARROWHAWK which flashed through the Greenhouse Grounds, where a LITTLE OWL was sat up on the guttering of the greenhouse again, another was seen in the Greenhouse Copse, that may well of been a recently fledged bird, but it was very dark in there, and it got flushed from perch to perch by an irate SONGTHRUSH ! The female KESTREL was perched up near the nest box, but that was the only other raptor seen today.
Out of the summer birds that have set up territories here, those being SWALLOW, CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, LESSER WHITETHROAT, COMMON WHITETHROAT and possibly the Spotted Flycatcher, I have yet to find any fledged young for, but hopefully it shouldn't be long now before the first Chiffchaff and Blackcap fledglings are found :-)
|I found both male and female Four Spotted Chasers in the Scrubby Woods|
|These images are of the male, which proved more co-operative for the camera|
|Although the light was fading fast by now as cloud cover encroached|
|Four Spotted Chaser|