Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday 22nd June

Pretty steady this last couple of weeks. Everything is still around but some are quietening down while others spring back into life and we have the occasional unexpected visitor.

This week Chiffchaffs have sprung back into life after a quiet period. I had noticed this on my local patch in Kempston and when I mentioned it to DK he said he'd noticed the same for the park. He'd also had a Lesser Whitethroat singing in the car park during the week.

The surprise visitor was a Black Swan on Thursday. It was on the main lake first thing before moving to the river and heading up to the embankment later on.

The Cuckoos are still about but we still don't have a confirmed female so all the males singing may be for nought. The first of the BTO's ringed Cuckoos has already departed for the continent so they may not be around much longer.

It was very blustery on Saturday morning which probably kept things quieter than normal, we did have a Mink sprint across the main path, by the entrance to the Spit, in front of us.

It's been a bad year for Mallards so far with duckling numbers way down on last year, unless they have a late rally.

The Fingers Mute Swans still have 5 cygnets and the main lake pair surprised us with 2 youngsters this week. We thought they'd given up!

Would be nice to get out to the island to see what is actually nesting on there now. We're sure the Common Terns are although how many is another matter. Not sure about the Black-headed Gulls but given the numbers hanging around there it seems likely they have nests. Also still not convinced about the Sand Martins. Unfortunately the nettles now mask the hole which one appeared to be using last week and although there was at least 1 flying around on Saturday I didn't see it go in. A single Swallow was spotted on Saturday and there were 50+ Swifts.

After the success of 3 Great Crested Grebe families last year it's looking like a zero this year unless there are some hiding in the reed beds somewhere that we don't know about. It's also been a poor year for Coots and Moorhens with the latter failing to get any young off so far. What a difference to last year when we had Coot nests everywhere and families dotted all along the north side of the main lake and others on Fingers.

It's bird walk time again next week with an 8am start outside the visitor centre on Sunday 30th June. Hope the weather picks up and the wind drops a bit. See you there.
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