Saturday, 23 April 2011

Hope that wasn't summer

The Safari put the moth trap out again last night but not long after the lamp was turned on a few spots of unforecast rain were felt followed by a deluge two minutes later, we dashed in to the garage andd yanked the plug from the socket before the fuses blew and there endeth the nights mothing! we hope the electrics dry out before our next session!

Five and a half hours too late we went around to Patch 1. All the usual suspects were the right places. Best of what was a very pleasant and hardly disturbed hour were three Lesser Redpolls (P1, 49) going over and a male Sparrowhawk that shot between us and Frank then banked in to a vertical climb landing in the top of a tree that the sctotes clamber about in. As it landed there was a lot of calling going on so we suspect the female may well have been on a nest up there.

A Speckled Wood danced around the base of a small copse of trees.

A mosey along the hedgerows and rough field didn't produce the hoped for Whitethroat or Lesser Whitethroat but we did find evidence of breeding Greenfinch, Blackbird, Long Tailed Tit and saw a pair of Chaffinches.

The afternoon was spent at the nature reserve, without Frank for a change. The temperature had plummeted to an unpleasant too warm for a jacket far too cold for just a tee-shirt and when the wind picked...brrrrr.

Arriving on site we immediately heard Chiffchaff and Whitethroat

Some well meaning anti-ecologist has been round planting Horse Chestnuts all over the wetalnd - they probably think they're doing a 'good thing' but the rangers are going to have to go round and dig them all out - as if they don't have enough to do! Our mystery planter would be better planting acorns or Alder Buckthorn berries, in the right palce of course.

So why do we not want trees at this wetland site? Well the pic below shows a good enough reason, the folded leaf indicated more than likely hides a Great Creat Crested Newt egg. There are more details of the signs of newts we found over on the FARG blog.

As we left this part of the site the regular Grasshopper Warbler fired up and was just audible above the noise of low flying aircraft and the wind. We enjoyed a chilly wander around the rest of the reserve. A few Swallows brought our reserve list to 85 for this year. In the distance three Buzzards got all the gulls up out of the fields that were having trailer loads of manure spread over them. A Sparrowhawk circling not too high over the mere didn't phase the gulls at all this time but later a Heron at height (no, not a White Stork this time unfortunately) had them all in the air.

Another Grasshopper Warbler was heard reeling from the quickly spreading Bramble in the paddock that really needs removing. This one has apparently been showing quite well over the last few days but we still haven't clapped eyes on any of the secretive little fellas.

Moving on down the track we heard a Lesser Whitethroat rattling away in the dense scrub, where the Apple trees a bedecked with flowers.

Heading back out in to the open overlooking the reedbed just how many Reed warblers were there? But where are the Sedge Warblers? Are they late or have they suffered a crash over the winter, it comes to something when you can hear more Cetti's Warblers (4) singing than Sedge Warblers at the start of the last week of April, the Percy Sledges used to be the most numerous warbler here not so long ago.

From the Fylde Bird Club hide we took the following pics and was put onto a mobile Common Sandpiper (86 - will we get 100 here for the year: the White Stork the other day was the reserve's 230th species) on the far scrape, no Little Ringed Plovers or Yellow Wagtails though and no Whinchats in the rough or along the fences below the embankment - what is the world coming to?

A last look over the mere before we had to leave gave us no Black Terns either.
Where to next? An early start and a far flung safari into the mountains tomorrow - assuming the weather behaves itself.

In the meantime let us know who's been planting the wrong things, or the right thing in the wrong place, in your outback.

LATE EDIT: Worryingly one of the Peregrines was back on the tower at tea time when we were out playing footy with Frank - hope that doesn't mean there is a bird missing from a nest site somewhere...

1 comment:

Amila Kanchana said...

Some lovely birds there,Davo!