Tuesday 25 June 2019

Farmland birds

Orlestone Forest - humid, cloudy, light airs - Day two of guiding for our guests commenced in the woods. It was always going to be a challenge this late in the season what with suppressed bird song, but we did eventually get brief snatches of song from both Nightingale and Turtle Dove along with Willow and Garden Warblers, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Family parties of Nuthatch and Treecreeper were more obliging, while Coal Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard and Great Spotted Woodpecker also noted. There were plenty of flowers on show around the woodland margins including Common Spotted Orchids and a single Bee Orchid and, in dappled shade, up to 20 White Admiral butterflies.

                                Common Spotted Orchid

  Moving down onto the Marsh between Kennardington and Warehorne a few wayside birds were noted such as Yellowhammer, Linnet, Lesser Whitethroat and Kestrel. At Scotney we had good views of our target birds of Tree Sparrow, Yellow Wagtail, Corn Bunting and Little Owl, plus Little Ringed Plover on the pits outback where there was no Avocet or Common Tern activity on the islands but plenty of juvenile Herring Gulls. The feral Barnacle Goose flock had returned to the front fields amongst hundreds of their kindred Greylags and Canada Geese.

                                Yellowhammer, Kennardington

                                Little Owl, Scotney

  We finished the day at ARC where the two long-staying 1st summer Little Gulls, Black-tailed Godwit, Cuckoo and Garganey were the highlights among masses of common wildfowl. Once again Painted Lady butterflies were common place wherever we went today.

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