Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th June

Feeding Duties

Over the reedbed......

.....and along the track

Young Hares
One of many Grass snakes
Very windy on Saturday giving way to warmer and calmer weather on Sunday.
My main aim this weekend was to catch up with the juvenile Bearded Tits that had been photographed on Monday. One of them had been seen on Friday and I was quite hopeful. The strong wind meant that most birds on Saturday were keeping their heads down but we did at least hear a couple of pings from the south western corner of the reedbed. Given that we are fairly certain that they bred somewhere on the moor this year it will be worth keeping ears and eyes open in a week or so as they can produce more than one brood in a year. B.W.P. states incubation takes between eleven and twelve days and the chicks fledge between twelve and fourteen days. It is certainly worth paying particular attention when walking along the path between the bridleway and the first screen.
Elsewhere Snipe are drumming over Greenaways and Big Otmoor and RSPB staff have found a number of nests. The two scrapes alongside the bridleway had at least nine Lapwing chicks of several different sizes feeding around the margins and also a family of Redshanks including four chicks. The parent birds always alert to the threat of aerial predation and quick to challenge Kites and Crows. A female Pochard was in the ditch alongside the bridleway with two ducklings in tow and a pair of Mute Swans have four cygnets. The Common Terns on the raft out from the site of the second screen are clearly breeding, on Sunday morning the parents changed over brooding duties and were clearly taking pains to cover their eggs and turn them. The Grey Herons in front of the hide look just about ready to leave the nest as it is getting to be a very tight fit for three.
Grass snakes and Common Lizards were again visible on the pollarded willows in the carpark field beside the track. There were two lizards there together in the sunshine on Sunday.
As we pass the summer solstice we should begin to get some returning waders, neither Common Sand nor Green Sand have been recorded on the moor so far this year, we usually have quite a passage of Green Sands as we move into July and I look forward to seeing them in the next couple of weeks.

Latest News: Joe Harris reserve warden has found the first Green Sand of the year on Ashgrave today: Tuesday 18th June

Grass snake about to shed its skin

Stripy Beetle sp.......All Pics this week (c) Bark

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