Sunday, 17 June 2012

Review of the last couple of weeks

The patch is  quieter at the moment and I've had little chance to get out for any length of time due to work and the weather.
However I did a full walk last Sunday(10/06) which didn't throw up any surprises.
The lake held at least 4 singing Reed warblers, 3 Blackcaps and it was nice to hear a Garden warbler singing from the southern end.The family of Canada geese were still on the lake but have been commuting between here and the stock pond, which seems a very dangerous walk across the field but they are still all there.
An additional 3 adults were with them and another 7 flew over.
Mandarins totalled eight but are looking rather tatty in their various stages of moult.
Three species of raptor were noted with Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard.
Around on the Shirrenden side there were ten Mistle thrush and both Little owls were sitting on fence posts around the paddock.
At home the garden feeders held three juvenile Goldfinches and a juvenile Greenfinch.
Later in the afternoon I went with Eric Philp to ring some Barn owls in a nest box and was very pleased to find it held five.
Today I had a  shortened visit just down to the lake.I found that the Little owl brood had fledged and found two of them in trees adjacent to the public footpath. The Kestrels were very active and one had left the nest leaving it's two siblings still inside.(see picture above) I also had some cracking views of an adult Hobby.
After lunch I went for a little walk with Phyllis and sat by the lake and saw what I think was a Downy Emerald Dragonfly and got a picture of a Beautiful Demoiselle

On the way home we found four recently fledged  Little owls in Sprivers. It was nice to be able to walk in the sunshine for a change.  

Monday, 4 June 2012

Monday 4th June

It was a bit grim when I went out at 6.30am this morning so my expectations were not that high.On Furnace Pond a pair of Canada Geese had turned up with five well grown goslings. These birds have not nested on the lake but I suspect they may have nested on a nearby pond then walked across fields to get here.
There were a total of eleven Mandarins, mostly drakes which are in moult. It was nice to find a couple of recently fledged Blackcaps being fed by the female and also a family of Nuthatches in the lakeside trees.
The constant drizzle had bought down a group of about 30 Swallows and a couple of House Martins. Both pairs of Coots now seem to be without chicks and only one Mallard has a couple of ducklings. It's sad that there seems to be such a high morality rate amongst the water fowl. There wasn't any chance of photographs this morning so I've added one of a cute fox cub I took last week.
The Little Owl was out around the paddock in Shirrenden where I also saw 2 of the recently fledged Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
So although the weather was grim it was a very enjoyable walk.

Damsels and Dragons

I haven't had a lot of opportunity to get on to the patch this week, but after working most of the night on Thursday I did manage a walk on Friday 1st. The sun was shining in the morning so I decided to try to get to grips with the Damselflies and Dragonflies on the lake.
There were plenty of Red-eyed Damsels and a few Common Blues on the lily pads and in the long grass I found some White-legged Damsels. On the dragonfly front there was a rather fine looking Emperor Dragonfly.
                                                  Red-eyed Damselfly on lily pad

On the stream which runs away from the lake I found my first Banded Demoiselles of the year which included 2 males(always a delight to see them skipping around).
                                                           Banded Demoiselle

In the afternoon I popped down for another try but unfortunately it had clouded over and I only managed one unidentified dragonfly. However whilst there I did see a family of Great Tits and Long tailed Tits and just as I was about to leave a Red Kite circled low over the lake before gaining height and drifting off South.