Friday, 12 June 2015

Breeding birds and thunderstorms

Lade  - 0500hrs - warm, cloudy, ne 3 - With no guests in last night we were out and about early to survey the local breeding birds. The gravel pit Black-headed Gull colony still held at least two Med Gulls, while Shelduck and Gadwall had young on the water. A pair of Oystercatchers were feeding juvs although I could find no sign of the Little Ringed Plovers.
Around the lake and willow swamp plenty of grebes, Coots, Moorhens, Mallards and Mute Swan with broods, another pair of Oystercatchers, an active Green Woodpecker nest hole and at least four Cuckoos, one being the rufous female. Many of the warblers were busy tooing and froing from nests with food and two broods of Great Tits were out of their nest holes.
A decent raptor count too included three hunting Marsh Harriers, two each of Kestrel and Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Hobby. A very pleasant four hours in the field.
At home the garden moth trap attracted a meagre 15 species, including Small Elephant Hawk-moth NFY.

                                Mute Swans, Lade

                                Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Lade

Kerton Road Café - A few more species here, but still well below what you`d expect for mid-June, although it did include White Spot, White-point, Peppered Moth and several Bordered Straws.  

                                  Bordered Straw, KRC

                                Peppered Moth, KRC

Lade  - We ventured out again this evening after a terrific thunderstorm had delivered a welcome drenching to a parched landscape. All the desert birds were out and about drying off, and there wasn't a breath of wind for a change. In Mockmill Sedge Warblers were feeding juvs out of the nest with a brood of Stonechats likewise.
Conditions look good for a decent moth catch tonight, but we`ve said that before a few times this year...

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