|Not here for much longer. (c) JR|
We have reached the tipping point in the year, which seems to have arrived very quickly. Time does seem to accelerate the older one gets!
Damp and soggy on Saturday and something much more summer-like on the longest day. There seem to be young birds everywhere, some now independent and others still chasing their parents for hand outs. Lots of custard coloured Great Tits and Blue Tits indicates successful broods for many pairs. Several loud parties of Long tailed Tits were working the Roman Road area. Beside the hide there was a flock of well over twenty Chaffinches with a preponderance of juvenile birds. They were picking up the fine seeds that are still there from the winter feeding programme.
|Whitethroat and Wren (c) JR|
A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling in July’s Meadow on Saturday. The habitat there is similar to the way that the Carpark Field used to be, which they seem to have abandoned this year. Perhaps the younger lower briars and hawthorn is their optimal breeding habitat. Young Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats were also noticeable alongside the paths to the screens.
|Reed Bunting (c) Bark|
Out in the reedbed the two female Marsh Harriers are still carrying lots of nesting material and their “civil partnership” must have amassed a pile of haystack proportions. As they have been gathering twigs and grass for the last several months.
|Civil partnership (c) JR|
A pair of Great Crested Grebes have two stripy “bullseye”chicks on the southern lagoon. One parent hunts while the other carries them on his or her back. I saw one of the chicks eat a fish almost as long as itself, after several attempts to swallow it it finally managed it, only to have just the tip of the fish’s tail sticking out.
Cuckoos are still calling but will soon depart, in the next few weeks we can look for their progeny, being fed outside the nest by their long suffering surrogate parents.
Quail the last of our regular summer visitors were heard last week calling from the MOD and from Closes, I have yet to hear them this year but hope to soon. They bring our year list up to a respectable one hundred and thirty nine species. Looking back at the records from last year, exactly the same number as at the same time as last year.
|Not a bad hare day (c) Bark|
There are many young leverets around some of them still quite small. They are nothing like as wary as the older ones and if one stands still and quiet they will come very close, make a sudden noise and they will be off like a rocket.
|Black Hairstreak (c) Bark|
Perhaps the best find this weekend was a minimum of six Black Hairstreaks that we found at the northern end of the Roman Road. We watched two groups of three simultaneously hence the definite number. It was interesting to see them shuffling round on the leaves and then tilting their wings so that they presented them at ninety degrees to the sun in order to maximise its warmth. As it warms up this coming week there will be lots more fascinating invertebrates to look for. There is always something new to find.
|What is this flower on the path from the hide to July's Meadow?|