Sunday, 5 June 2016

It's tough being a Blue Tit...

The hard-working
Blue Tit...


Hello

Jacob Spinks was at Pitsford Reservoir this morning and saw an Osprey and a Raven. Checking of the small boxes there as used by tits revealed plenty of dead chicks unfortunately, sometimes of complete broods. The cold temperatures, heavy rain and consequent lack of food seems to be a regular phenomenon faced by birds in the UK every spring now and is clearly having an affect on the number of juvenile birds able to fledge in good condition. Some of the nest-boxes and contents fared better than others however and it isn't a total loss. With the warm weather and sunshine predicted for the next five days or so, the survivors should progress nicely.

It was a similar story this afternoon at Scotland Wood on the Kelmarsh Estate, the Blue Tit nestlings in particular not surviving in some boxes. It seems likely that the very earliest broods and now the later broods might have timed it better.

A warbler summering and holding territory at Scotland Wood this year sings a perfect Willow Warbler song but appears to be a Chiffchaff. About every third rendition of the Willow Warbler song is concluded with some Chiffchaff song. I haven't heard it's call note yet and it may not have a mate, and in fact may not have one because it is one confused bird giving out confusing messages! It's not unusual to find such birds, and in my experience they tend to be Chiffchaffs which have the Willow Warbler song imprinted and affecting their repertoire. I don't think I have ever come across one though where the Willow Warbler song is so dominant.

Other birds in the wood this afternoon included Spotted Flycatcher and just-fledged Blackcaps.

Debbie and Eric Graham continued their patchwork birding at Titchmarsh Reserve this morning and again found a male Cuckoo, which of course is now beginning to change his tune! There were still plenty of busy warblers on show plus a pair of Oystercatcher and several species of odonata on the wing.

This evening there were two singing Grasshopper Warblers in The Hill field at Blueberry Farm.

Regards

Neil M



Marsh Fritillary butterfly

Sainfoin, a member
of the vetch family.

Above images taken recently
in Gloucestershire courtesy
of Sarah Gibbs.



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