Saturday, 28 May 2016

Breeding birds of Pitsford Reservoir


Yesterday at Pitsford Reservoir, a recce by boat provided an opportunity of accurate nest recording when 24 Common Tern nests were found on the rafts and the Cormorant colony numbered 57 active nests. The pair of Oystercatcher have relaid after the first clutch disappeared and it seems that the early nesting waterfowl have benefited from the constant high water levels with Mallard and Coot being rewarded with large broods.

Checks of the large nest-boxes around the reserve confirm usage by breeding Tawny Owls and Jackdaws have successfully bred in two of the boxes. The take-up rate of the small nest-boxes appears good and this year a couple of pairs of Coal Tits have used them with nestlings ready to fledge and face the big wide world any day now. Strangely young birds of more general species seem to be in short supply with two recent ringing sessions failing to catch any at all. Hopefully we will see a flood of juvenile birds soon.

Today a ringing session in the Walgrave Bay was sufficient to process 43 birds which included two Garden Warblers, five Blackcaps, two Willow Warblers, two Chiffchaffs, a Song Thrush, a Marsh Tit, a Woodpigeon and six Bullfinches. A Hobby was hawking insects overhead.

A Hobby and the family party of Ravens were seen at Staverton again today and Debbie and Eric Graham stepped out on the Titchmarsh Reserve at Thrapston to see and hear plenty of warblers, two Oystercatchers, 2-3 Cuckoos and Four Spot Chaser Dragonfly.

Kenny Cramer presided over a ringing session at Linford Lakes on the outskirts of Milton Keynes this morning, catching 23 birds of 10 species which included 6 new Reed Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler and 2 Chiffchaffs.


Neil M

Tawny Owl nestling
Pitsford Reservoir

'Drifts' of  'flowers'
from willow trees and bushes...
Willow Warbler

Garden Warbler
Coal Tit

Particularly good numbers of
Robins on territory this spring, possibly
an influence of the mild winter...

Last five images above courtesy
of Cathy Ryden.

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