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Birds On Passage

September 27, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Whinchat

What a spectacular week of Autumn weather with sunshine, no wind and no rain!

Last weekend we had our Ruby wedding and a funeral to attend and covered more than six hundred miles on motorways. However, it did enable us to prove that the Buzzard is the commonest raptor in Britain with sightings of one Sparrowhawk, five Kestrels and nine Buzzards.

On the local streams two Grey Wagtails have been feeding all week.

The bracken on the Golf Course produced not one but two new birds on the 27th September when two juvenile Whinchats were present and a Willow Warbler all catching insects in the early morning sunshine.

Amazing Record

September 19, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Mistle Thrush

Rain, rain and more rain can this Summer get any worse?

A week of dry weather has been most welcome although sunlight has been at a premium

A Speckled Wood butterfly has been seen plus Peacock and Red Admiral but a small consolation for what has been another appalling butterfly Summer

I have been informed by a very reliable local farmer that in August a Corncrake called on two different days in meadows by his farm. This is an amazing record as Corncrake have not bred at that farm for nearly fifty years! Was it a breeding bird or passage migrant? It will be interesting to see whether it returns next year.

On some Rowan berries on the Golf Course there were thirty two Mistle Thrushes – the largest number I have ever seen together locally.

The First Autumn Migrant

September 13, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Goldcrest

Rain, rain and more rain can this Summer get any worse?

Much better weather this week and the first Goldcrest of the Autumn was in a pine tree in our garden. At 5.00am one morning the young Tawny Owl was again calling for food before settling in it’s diurnal roosting place.

In the local woods and Golf Course a well grown Leveret was found and it is good to know that the local Hares are back and doing well. More Goldcrests have arrived with an East wind and a flock of twenty plus Siskins were present feeding in birches. Two Kestrels were hunting voles, one of them stood on top of the flagpole on the green!

Without doubt the highlight of the week came from a willow bush on the Golf Course. A small bird was scolding and finally showed itself to be a Willow Tit, only the second I have ever seen locally, the last being in our garden a couple of years ago. Will it stay?

Weather For Ducks

September 6, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Jay

Rain, rain and more rain can this Summer get any worse?

Over our road one wet day there were forty plus House Martins desperately trying to catch any airborne insects. At the Golf club the Swallows have abandoned any thoughts of second broods and most have already gone South.

On the only dry morning of the week I saw two Red Admiral butterflies at Dovestones reservoir – the first I have seen this Summer.

On the Golf Course Siskins are still feeding in good numbers and at least four Bullfinches were also present. Jays are now becoming more noticeable and with a good acorn crop beginning to mature they may stay with us all Winter. There are still three coming into our garden.

No Sun

August 30, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Greenfinch

With no recorded sunshine in the last seven days, this month has to be one of the dullest and wettest ever recorded.

Over a dozen Greenfinches are now feeding in the garden and three Jays come regularly for peanuts. At dusk one evening a young Tawny Owl was calling for food in some beeches at the back of the garden. The adults were visible against the darkening sky as they fed it.

I was awoken one morning by a calling Curlew as it headed off the moors to the coast. Skylarks and Snipe are now also moving through.

On the local golf course parties of up to a dozen goldfinches are hunting the thistles for seeds and good numbers of Siskin are still around. A family party of six Stoat have also been seen.

Last to Fledge

August 23, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Young Barn Owl

This weeks photo is of the last Barn Owl to fledge from the five that have flown locally. The tiny black specks down the flank of the young indicate that it is a female – the males breast being completely white. What with the extremely wet weather this week and the Olympics I have only managed two visits to the site this week and there are now only two birds present, these being the adults. The young having been driven away from their breeding territory.

In the garden there are fourteen Greenfinches feeding and the first two Jays have now appeared but very few Goldfinches.

On the local Golf Course Skylarks are now moving through and a Wheatear was on the first tee one morning this week. A family party of Kestrels were also mobile looking for voles.