Thursday, 30 May 2013

Twit t woo

With all the shrikes on the East coast at the moment I thought I would give my favourite coastal strip a bash in search of my own. The area has given me greenish and a couple of yellow browed warblers in recent years so I thought I had a chance.

There was heavy rain and fog early in the day so I decided to finish some paperwork and headed out to the coast just after lunch. Although the rain had stopped, the fog was still bad and it felt more like early November rather than late May!

I was slightly strange walking along the scrubby coast path with very few birds for company. Any pishing produced the usual wrens, robins and dunnocks but in a 4km walk I only saw 5 chiffchaff, 5 whitethroat, 3 lesser whitethroat and 4 blackcaps in the way of summer migrants. There were lots of low feeding swallows and swifts but that was more due to the poor weather that anything else. I don’t think it is going to be a very good breeding season…

The highlight of the walk was the discovery of a tawny owl. I stopped by a nice bit of scrub and trees and started pishing. Nothing responded but I did see movement in the trees. I moved my position and there was a lovely tawny owl sitting there that had been attracted by the noise. It was probably the reason there were no passerines responding!! The only other thing on note was a showy singing male cuckoo.

 Fingers crossed things will improve soon!!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

You win some, you lose some

With the cold windy weather I have not been out on the patch recently so I took the opportunity to get out this afternoon.

The middle of last week I found 2 oystercatcher nests in a sugarbeet field and a lapwing behaving suspiciously so I wanted to check to see what was happening with them. With all the dry weather, a lot of the crops are not growing well so are providing ideal nesting conditions for waders, skylarks and pipits. On my way to my ‘breeding field’ I found another oystercatcher nest! Just before I got to the main field, a buzzard flushed from a tree and two lapwings came up of the field and chased it off. I sat down under the cover of a large tree to see where they would go. It didn’t take long for the first one to settle back onto her nest and the second one wasn’t far behind. It wasn’t so good when I got to the other side of the field as both of the oystercatcher nests has disappeared. Found a 2nd oystercatcher nest of the day just before I got home leaving me with 3 still on the go.

I am not sure why but as I was walking past the churchyard something made me go in to look for spotted flycatcher. I have never seen them there before but something said check…. I sat down on the bench and straight away a spot fly landed on one of the gravestones!!! Going to pop in and see the vicar and see if I can put an open fronted nestbox somewhere in the churchyard.

The spot fly put my patch yearlist on 78 species, 83 points