Sunday, 6 June 2010

Please tell me summer's not over

The safari went out without a coat today - just about got away with it. On the way out heavy rain kept the windscreen wipers very busy. Arriving on site the rain eased but it was still cold. The target species, Spotted Flycatcher (166) was soon bagged thanks to FB who had already pinned the bird down so the hard work was done for us.
This dodgy shot shows one thing - a complete misnomer. Surely it should be called the Slightly- faintly-streaked Flycatcher...where exactly are the spots?
A short drive took us to our usual nature reserve. Not a great deal doin' but an out of season Pink Footed Goose sat with three Teal and a Gadwall gave a wintery feel to the place to go with the weather. Couldn't find the summer special, the male Garganey, gone off somewhere - really hope it'll be back before too long. The recent site mega - a juvenile Dipper never reappeared. Woudn't have been a year tick but a cracking site tick possibly never to be repeated.
We heard three Cetti's Warblers singing but strangely didn't get the 'easy' one. Tried to get a youngster on to one without success but did get him on to a lifer - Reed Bunting...plenty more for him at this site to keep him busy during his hols.
The miserable weather deteriorated with a cold wind picking up so there was no chance of any butterflies or dragons. Good numbers of Blue Tailed Damselflies sheltered among the Phragmites leaves, we only managed to find a single Common Blue Damselfly.
Two noisy Oystercatchers flew over the scrape and one of the Lapwings from the field next door dropped in while a Kestrel hovered overhead. So although it 'appeared' quiet there was actually plenty going on. The 'prrrrt' of House Martins was a welcome sound, they are in short supply in these parts at the moment, as are Swifts of which we only saw a small handful. On a cool day like this several hundred might be expected to be whizzing low over the water and across the grassland weaving between the folks walking along there.
Warblers were well represented but only aurally. Plenty of Reed Warblers and fewer Sedge Warblers, not long ago these numbers would have been reversed. Whitethroats broke the rules by being visible but the Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warbler were only ever going to be heard. A couple of Song Thrushes sang away for our delectation too.
The magnificent display of Amphibious Bistort did its best to brighten an otherwise dull day.
But we couldn't find any trace of the site's Bee Orchids and we didn't get a chance to look for them at the site near to Base Camp today.
Where to next? Back to the Patches for the rest of the week - wonder if this iffy weather has shuffled things around a bit.
In the meantime let us know if the weatherlooks like improving in your outback


Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig said...

Hi Dave,

I also hope the kid you was talking with will carry on with wildlife, i wish all kids cared about wildlife because as we all will one day be in their hands.
Personally for me...wildlife is my number one love, i love nature more than i love my wife and kids, thats no disrespect to my family because i do love them lots, but nature as and will always be my number one love.
Regarding my gaff and goldies...unfortunately the gardens at the back of my house is a concrete jungle with hardly any green stuff, (i live very close to and on the same stretch as the new cinema called the Vue in Cleveleys on the seafront) im in the process of converting my garden into a bird friendly area, which will hopefully result in more species visiting my garden, i say garden....more like one flower bed at the moment, but hopefully in the near future it will have mostly the green stuff.
When i moved in about 15 months ago i put up bird feeders but very few species visit, but now ive seen a goldfinch im going to buy some niger seed and see what happens?
Its ok about the meadow pipit...thats birding after all.

best wishes,

Warren Baker said...

Yep , thats it Dave Summer has gone :-).

At least you got to see the Spot fly :-)

Monika said...

I'll sign your petition to rename it the faintly-streaked flycatcher - love the name!