Saturday, 20 June 2015

Early sunshine this morning was replaced by cloudier conditions by 07:30hrs, which by mid afternoon gave a bit of drizzly rain.

I covered most, but not all parts of my patch during the 4 hour visit, but it was, as expected, very quiet on the bird front, as is always the case in June many birds are secretively feeding young or hiding away while they moult. I did however find a reasonable tally of species, 41 in all, with the undoubted highlight being a fast moving HOBBY (58) that sped low over the Scrubby Woods, one more for the June list!

The Scrubby Woods had the best of what was on offer today, with plenty of BLUE and GREAT TIT families feeding up in the Oak canopy, but I am yet to find a Coal Tit family, I think I may of missed those whilst in wales, along with the first Chiffchaff and Blackcap families! A pair of TREECREEPERS looked as though they may have had young nearby, but the NUTHATCHES were less secretive, their calls and whistles made it easy to locate the immature birds.  A male BULLFINCH showed itself, this is another species that I yet to find recently fledged young for this year. A sighting of a JAY was my first for two days, the young of these can be tricky to track down, as they tend to sit quietly up in the high branches of the Oaks.

Nothing on the lakes today apart from 16 CANADA GEESE and 5 moulting MALLARDS, I'm still hoping for a Mandarin to show up for the months list, although they have not bred in the nearby Wet Woods this year, as they have in the previous three years, since it became a dog playground even the Mallards have failed to breed their this year!

I added a Butterfly species to the year list when during the early sunshine a Small Skipper was seen at the Greenhouse Grounds, a Beautiful Demoiselle was the best of the Odonata seen today.

Back to the Wales holiday photo's to brighten the blog today, this species will at least give pleasure to a certain fellow blogger i'm sure  :-)



Derek Faulkner said...

You never miss a trick with the dog blame Warren. On The Swale NNR which as you know is a wet marshland reserve with all the right habitat for wildfowl to breed, Mallard, this last few years, have recorded some of the lowest figures of the breeding wildfowl species that we have. You could of course blame my two dogs for that but generally, Mallard are not doing that well throughout the country.
Given your regular complaints about habitat destruction/disturbance there it'll be interesting to see how your this year's confirmed breeding birds compares with previous years.

Warren Baker said...

Yep, just like you Derek, I never miss a trick to fight my corner! Even the most avid dog lover must surely realise that birds wont nest where there is constant disturbance from lots of off lead dogs!

As for this years ''successfully bred'' list, i'm on 29 at the moment, the average over the past five years is 43. Ive lost two species from last years list straight off....Coot and Mute Swan, they have left the lake they bred on, due to the weed being removed, which took away most of their food source.

Derek Faulkner said...

Well as most pond owners/managers will confirm, there comes a time, regretable as it may be, when most ponds need to be "opened up" to avoid weed growth smothering the place. It's normally only a short term loss of habitat and creatures therein. A few years ago the Kent Wildfowlers (an Association much derided by many naturalists) did the same "cleaning up" job at Westbere lakes, now look at how good they are.
Probably not true but I could suggest that some disturbance is also caused by people creeping about in such quiet and suitable habitat in order to get the perfect photo.
As for your breeding list, well it's certainly looking pretty grim but we're not looking too good on The Swale NNR this year either after a cold and dry Spring - swing and roundabouts!
We live to fight another day.

Derek Faulkner said...

By the way Warren, if you have a look at my today's blog you can share my delight at photos of my two canine companions.

Marc Heath said...

Like a tennis match between you and Derek. Currently 30 all. A nice set of Stonechat shots. Not sure whats best, the bird or the lovely blue sky!

Warren Baker said...

As the stonechats were in Wales, I reckon the blue sky must take the prize!

Derek Faulkner said...

Warren, you'll see that I have answered Greenie's query re. the straw tube.

Wilma said...

Handsome stonechat; we don't have them the Americas, as far as I know.

Pete Woodruff said...

Never fail to enjoy seeing records and images of the delightful Stonechat Warren, in Wales or anywhere else, and the bird would win it over the sky every time for me.

Warren Baker said...

Thought you would enjoy them pete :-)