Monday, June 28, 2010

w/e Sun 27th June

Midsummer birding is always steady with little change; that's 'cos we're in between the last of the spring and the first of the autumn movements. Saying this, some Black-headed Gulls have returned already from their breeding grounds.

There are still large numbers of moulting Canadas on the main lake (on the grass if you're out very early) and the Mute Swan flock continues to feed on the much unsolicited pondweed; 91 of each were counted on Sunday. Quotations have been sought to tackle the weed problem.
On Sunday, I conducted what is likely to be my last guided walk. Checking out a lone crow flying overhead, I scored a Rook instead. Most of the birdsong activity was coming from either Blackcaps or Song Thrushes; in contrast the Reed Warblers were very quiet this week.

During the week, we caught two juvenile Garden Warblers, which were moulting their median coverts. This is about as far as they go, preferring to finish their main moult on the wintering grounds in equatorial Africa.

One couldn't help noticing the young Jackdaws. Their squawking could be heard whereever you were in the conservation and new meadow areas. They mostly sat up in the trees between the Kramer hide and the old dipping platform, waiting for mum or dad to come back with food. Meantime, they "chatted each other up", as they do.

Another bird that was conspicuous was the Common Whitethroat. The males gave their short, scratchy song from the bush tops as they moved around looking for insects for their broods. The early birds are already going about having a second brood after sucessfully rearing their first.

We had a short early morning ringing session where we retrapped a female Blackbird. She had a broken tail as a result of a lack of food at a critical point in the moult cycle last autum. She had originally been ringed as a juvenile female five years previously - to the day.
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