Sunday, 25 August 2019

Odds and Ends

Whilst the very hot weather has been welcomed by many, it can be hard work for others. Birding can seem an effort and my own birding has been confined to early morning and late evening rambles around the fields at Blueberry or Harrington Airfield.  Every day I am bumping into Common Redstart. These are "regular" at Harrington. I've no idea whether these are new birds moving through or the same ones staying put for a while as sometimes they are sitting in full view and at other times remain elusive. Other birds that I have seen on an almost daily basis are Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Grasshopper Warbler, Turtle Dove and Tree Pipit.
Plenty of good birds [ not seen by myself] have turned up at the reservoirs and gravel pits including Black, Little and Sandwich Tern, Cattle and Great White Egret, Wood Sandpiper and Pied Flycatcher.
The ringers have been busy. John Woollett caught 49 birds at Stortons gravel pits with Blackcap being top of the list at 25.
At Pitsford Dave Francis caught 104 birds of 17 species and noted that the numbers of Blackcaps have already dropped off considerably with only 3 birds caught.  In previous sessions Blackcap have been top of the list of the totals.
Interesting observations from these ringing sessions about the Blackcap numbers from two sites which as the bird flies are not far from each other.
I have been watching a Barn Owl regularly although it/they have become more elusive which seemed strange as they had young to feed and when they were hunting they were catching plenty of food. Anyway I decided to check the nest site and was saddened and dismayed to find two well grown chicks lying dead on the ground underneath the nest.  I have no idea why this happened but it was very sad to see.

Regards Eleanor

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