Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Mid-summer birding


Yet another Siskin recovery has come through following the intense period in the early spring when John Woollett was almost engulfed in these stunning little finches on their way north. S122497 was a first year male Siskin that was ringed at Astcote on 6th March 2016 and was then subsequently re-trapped at Peebles in the Scottish Borders on 11th June, presumably where it is breeding. A time period of 97 days elapsed between the two records with the bird having moved in a general NNW direction.

With many hay meadows being cut currently, this is a good time to witness Red Kites taking advantage of man's activities in order to cash in on any food opportunities. They will fly very close to machinery in action hoping to grab fleeing or injured rodents or indeed any small thing that is disturbed by such activity. What is really interesting is that the Common Buzzards have clearly been watching the success of the kites in exploiting this opportunity and this normally much shyer raptor has learnt to do much the same thing. Yesterday I noticed a couple each of Red Kite and Common Buzzard hunting a hay field being cut between the villages of Scaldwell and Old.

Short dog walks around the village of Hanging Houghton during the last couple of days has been pretty good for notching up rather scarce birds such as Grey Partridge, Raven, Little and Barn Owl, Spotted Flycatcher and Hobby. Sadly no Cuckoo or Turtle Dove though...


Neil M

Emerald Damselfly

Four Spotted Chaser

Black-tailed Skimmer

Carrion Crow. Very much at the
top of the hierarchical structure
of wild birds locally. The spread of
the Raven in the county will
nevertheless provide an interesting

Red Kite, moulting inner primaries.

All images from Pitsford Reservoir
on Sunday...

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