Monday, 22 May 2017

The last weekend was a quiet one on the patch but a female Cuckoo turned up on Saturday and seemed to spark the male into life with him calling constantly and on Sunday he was chasing her round the lake.
There have been plenty of Mandarins on the lake with ten on Saturday and they look like they are already coming in to moult.

Three Cormorants over the same day was an unusual record for the patch at this time of year.
Common Terns have visited regularly but don't hang around for long.

The Reed Buntings are still on the lake as are the Coots so I'm hoping both will breed. This evening twenty House Martins came down to the lake before drifting off to the north.
With the sun shining I've been down at the warmest times to try to photograph Dragonflies and Damsels but so far have only seen the latter.I did manage to take some pics of a Broad bodied Chaser elsewhere:-

I was pleased to find a Brown Argus on Saturday
and a a few Banded Demoiselles

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

On the 8th of the month the Coot that has been on the lake was joined by another and the pair remain on the lake.
The following day I was relieved to find a Turtle Dove(92) singing. Sadly this enigmatic little dove is now hard to find on the patch.
On the 11th the first House Martin (93) flew over the house and a Sand Martin (94) was briefly over the lake.
Last weekend  54 species was seen on the patch, a really great total and one which included a flyover Yellow Wagtail (95) and another Med Gull and a Lesser Whitethroat.
On Sunday 14th whilst we were working in the garden four more Med Gulls went over south (It's been a good year for this species).
During a sunny afternoon I went on a foray to look for dragonflies and found a newly emerged Banded Demoiselle and a Large Red Damselfly.
                                                               First Banded Demoiselle
Large Red Damsel

Sunday, 7 May 2017

April passed with two more species added to the year list in the shape of a Nightingale(84) singing at Stonebridge and a Red Kite(85) over the orchards on the following afternoon.
Finally, on the 29th two more Med Gulls were recorded going south over the lake.
Into May and with a cold wind blowing from the north east not much was happening until on the 5th the first Spotted Flycatcher(86) was found at the pumping station on my way to work.As I walked along the farm track two Shelduck(87) passed overhead, going north and amazingly within a minute a GREENSHANK(88) followed them calling loudly as it went.Brilliant!!! To add to this two Swifts(89) were flying over the lake.Possibly the best twenty minutes I have ever had on the patch.
The good fortune continued on Saturday 6th when what I thought was my first Hobby of the year approaching distantly from the south turned out to be a large swift. As it got closer I was stunned to make out the white belly and throat of an ALPINE SWIFT(90) which, unfortunately carried on to the north without stopping.INCREDIBLE!
Then down at the lake two Common Terns(91) circuited before flying off to the south.
I was pleased to have two Cuckoos duelling in the orchards.
Two distant Cuckoos

This afternoon a Red Kite flew over the village as we were in he garden and down at the lake a Buzzard was being mobbed by the male Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk was circling amongst the pair.
In the garden I took this shot of a Robin fledgling:-