Saturday, 3 June 2017

Pitsford CBC

Common Buzzard.


Today I spent the morning completing a Common Bird Census at Pitsford Reservoir in favourable conditions following the early morning rain. Once it warmed up, three Hobbies were hawking insects above the trees and a Curlew was moving about between the causeway and the Bird Club Hide. A Ringed Plover and two Little Ringed Plovers were near to Moulton Grange Bay.

Water birds won't enjoy a very good breeding season this year due to the very low water level but I did see a pair of Mute Swans with two cygnets and four broods of Mallard on my meanderings.The breeding pair of Oystercatchers still have two growing chicks. On the negative side, only one Reed Warbler was heard singing and I didn't encounter any Sedge Warblers or Lesser Whitethroats. There were just-fledged Blackcaps moving about and I came across a tiny Garden Warbler chick that really shouldn't have strayed from it's nest!

Despite the sunny conditions for much of the walk I didn't see any dragonflies and relatively few damselflies; hopefully this won't be the norm now that we have invasive shrimps in the reservoir which apparently voraciously predate odonata nymphs. I did see two Beautiful Demoiselles though, which is three years running these insects have appeared at Pitsford and I suspect they must be breeding in the streams in small numbers.

Only four species of butterfly found the conditions to their liking today which included migrant Red Admirals and Painted Ladies and the meadows were alive with Chimney Sweeper moths again.


Neil M

Rabbit. Walking the reserve
early in the morning is traditionally
good for seeing common mammals.
Rabbits aren't that common at Pitsford
but there are plenty of youngsters around
in the Holcot Bay currently...

Speckled Wood butterfly.

Longhorn moth, nemophora
deyeerella, the male with
very long antennae.

Female Muntjac Deer.

Large Skipper.

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