Wednesday, 29 May 2013

21st -27th May Update

The last week has been an interesting one on the patch! One of the Long-tailed Tits nests have fledged and the Great-crested Grebes have grown fast.
Great Crested Grebe with chicks

It has taken a while to catch up with local Spotted Flycatchers but I managed to find them again at Lake Cottage.
On Sunday I was delighted to find two singing Turtle Doves on the patch (up to then things were looking pretty grim on this front). I also found another Garden Warbler in another area.On the stream below the waterfall a female Grey Wagtail was feeding two juveniles.Fantastic!I also saw three Cuckoos together until one male was chased off and the pair then mated.
There are three Willow Warblers still holding territories but interestingly one of them appears to be a dual singer. It sings a few Chiffchaffs then breaks into the usual song.It also looks quite pale on the front(see attached photos).
Dual singing Willow Warbler

The Treecreepers at the lake continue to feed their young, it shouldn't be long before they fledge.
It would seem that although the weather has been changeable the birds seem to be doing OK.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Sunday morning provided a Common Sandpiper(106) sitting in the end of the jetty. Unfortunately it wasn't there when I got home from work and was armed with my camera and scope.I did get some other shots:-
                                                     Mistle Thrush in sheep pasture
Resting Swallow
Speckled Wood
In the early evening I got a text to inform me that a Red Kite was heading towards the village from the South but unfortunately I was in Paddock Wood picking up daughter so dipped on it. 
However some good news was finding out that one pair of Grebes actually had 2 chicks left. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

It was a good few hours in the field this morning with 52 species seen. Three Willow Warblers  are holding territories and the lake held at least three Reed Warblers. I didn't manage to find the Spotted Fly at Lake Cottage but it was nice to see a Moorhen with six chicks. Sadly one of the pairs of Great-crested Grebes has lost it young and the other pair only have one left.
The Cuckoo was in excellent voice as were the local Skylarks.
The only raptors seen in the morning were a pair of Kestrels and a Buzzard. At the southern end of the lake a Garden Warbler continues to sing, on and off.In the paddock in Shirrenden a Little Owl was dropping onto the ground catching insects. On the way back up the hill the male Cuckoo was chasing the female around the top of Kirkins.
There were a few more Swifts and House Martins about over the village in the afternoon.
I went for a little walk with Phyl in the afternoon and the first thing we saw when we entered Kirkins was a pair of Hobbies, nice.On the way back to the village a large bird drifted in from the east. It was very low and turned out to be a Red Kite, fantastic!! We watched it for a while as it gradually gained height. I decided to try to get home to see if I could see it and amazingly when I got into our back garden I found that it was still circling over the village and was visible. A great garden tick for me.
In the evening I went down to check the lake and had a Turtle Dove fly over my head. This is only the second sighting since 24th April. A sad sign of the times i'm afraid.
i was very pleased with the days total of 55 species.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

At Last!

Last Sunday saw me adding Hobby(103) to the year list. This was one of four species of raptor seen with Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk also seen.Both pairs of Great-crested Grebes have young and all the summer visitors appear to be concerned with nesting.
Yesterday evening I had a pair of Common Terns(104) which flew around the lake a couple of times before disappearing off to the North and this evening I Found a Spotted Flycatcher(105) in the garden of Lake Cottage. At last !!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Had a walk this afternoon with the hope of finding a Spotted Fly, but was amazed to find a Black Redstart (101) in the corner of the field at the top of Kirkins where I found a Redstart on the 27th April. Hopefully this is going to become a productive area on the patch. Things got even better when I found the first Lesser Whitethroat(102) of the year in the same corner.
Down at the lake the wind was so strong I gave up trying to find a Spot Fly or Hobby. I'm sure they will turn up soon.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Review of the last week

I didn't manage to break the 100 barrier by the end of April , finishing on 99 with the addition of Feral Pigeon(98) and Barn Owl(99).
On Friday 3rd May I had a single Egyptian Goose on the lake, the 2nd record this year.
On Saturday 4th I met Hugh, who joined me for a walk of the patch.In total we had six warbler species which included Whitethroat(5), Chiffchaff(9), Willow Warbler(3), Blackcap(10), Garden Warbler(3)and a Reed Warbler.
We also heard a Water Rail calling and a Lesser Spot drumming and calling.One of the pairs of G-C Grebes had one chick on it's back and whilst we were watching it a Grey Wagtail flew over our heads. The only raptor we saw was a Kestrel.
This mornings walk got off to a great start when a Swift(100) was wheeling over the house as I left.The only additions to what was seen on Saturday was a pair of Lesser Redpolls which were displaying over the lake
and the G-C Grebes also had a second chick.
In the afternoon Phyllis and I sat in the back garden and I watched the sky which eventually produced 6 Swifts, 5 House Martins, 4 Swallows and a Sand Martin, plus a Sparrowhawk and best of all a Peregrine which drifted in from the East, circled the village for a while then drifted off East again. Brilliant!!!