Monday, 1 August 2011

August 1st

With the forecast on BBC 1 saying maybe 16 C overnight, I was hoping for a bumper catch in the moth traps this morning but driving to the castle the temperature showed 12 in my car and when Steve arrived he only recorded 9 degrees. The upshot was not many moths! Not to worry, I'll hopefully get another early morning in this week, I'm not sure what the highlight was but I always like seeing Canary Shouldered Thorn of which there was just one this morning.
Canary Shouldered Thorn

Always when there aren't many moths it's not a total disappointment because it means more time birding! The car park held several BLACKCAPS a GARDEN WARBLER, WILLOW WARBLER, 8 GOLDFINCH, YELLOWHAMMER, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER plus a fly through female SPARROWHAWK, to name just a few, so was generally pretty busy.  A PIED WAGTAIL flew over high south-east and a GOLDCREST quietly called from a hedge as I headed down towards the lake. The lake remains reasonably quiet, MOORHEN and MALLARD still being the mainstay on the waterbird front.
There were a few little gatherings of birds in the hedgerows, the first group consisted of GREAT TITS, BLUE TITS, several CHAFFINCHES, at least 6 WHITETHROATS, GARDEN WARBLER and SEDGE WARBLER. When I was over halfway round I realised I hadn't seen or heard a SKYLARK, a quick scan found 3 birds not singing but chasing around about 20ft up over the hay meadow. The next little group of birds was more bunting orientated with around 8 YELLOWHAMMERS and 3 REED BUNTINGS, also here were another 4 WHITETHROATS and my third sighting of GARDEN WARBLER this morning, this time a family group of 5 birds! As ever, I scanned the skies here and there, they produced 3 BLACK HEADED GULLS, 1 HERRING GULL and a CORMORANT, while watching the Garden Warblers a KINGFISHER called and was glimpsed hurtling along the stream.
A young hedge recreating boundaries from the 1800's

Currently my favourite Yellowhammer!

As I neared the top of the tree-lined bridleway another little flock of birds were busying themselves in the Ash trees, here there were about 20 BLUE TITS, 2 CHIFFCHAFFS and another WILLOW WARBLER. I met Stephen briefly who had seen 2 Sedge Warblers on Saturday and had just been watching some young MARSH TITS but had seen little else of note.

I headed back to the car park where it was still quite lively, a family of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS were high up in a birch with 3 more WILLOW WARBLERS for company. I got a text whilst on my way to work, Stephen had a fly over Green Sandpiper after I left, which makes a combined total of 107 species between us this year for the site.


Phil and Mandy said...


Steve Ashton said...

A varied and well stocked species list Alan, a productive start to the month.

Warren Baker said...

Alan, it's such a pleasure to see a proper hedgerow, i'll put a photo of one of the sheep and horse eaten efforts on my patch later in the week :-)

Unlucky with that Greensand - plenty of time to get one of your own though :-)

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Phil and Mandy, There was a good range of species around, with good weather as well, all's good :-)

Hi Steve, It was an interesting start, hopefully as the month progresses it'll continue to be as productive.

Hi Warren, I'm interested to see how bad your hedges are, I wonder what you would get if they were in good condition, you do well without them.

Nice to see your Green Sand hung around.

Greenie said...

Allan ,
Know you didn't get many , but I like that Canary Shouldered Thorn .
The Warden used to get them in his house , before he got double glazing .

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Greenie, CS Thorn is quite striking, I expect double glazing and the like has stopped a lot of things being found where they once were!