Wednesday, 9 July 2014

return of the halcyon

notes from weekend walks around the barleyfield and down to pool hall

Still some singing birds with about 6 each of blackcap, whitethroat and chiffchaff and single willow warbler at pool hall.  2 singing song thrush competing with each other in the paddock and 2 more south of meccano.

evidence of breeding success for whitethroat, blackcap, dunnock, bullfinch, greenfinch, goldfinch and 2 almost fully grown gt crested grebe at pool hall.
plenty of feeding house martin and swift with a single swallow over the barleyfield.

Sighting of kingfisher near smestow school which prompts us to now reveal that after a ten year gap this little jewel has returned as a nesting species.  In order not to compromise the nest no attempt was made to confirm breeding, This was very pleasing though given the number of april sightings not surprising; indeed single birds have been seen in other parts of the valley suggesting perhaps a summering bird or even a second pair.  In contrast apart from angus's bird on the racecourse no sightings apparently of grey wagtail which has bred intermittently.

Picking up on Dave's post plenty of butterfly activity and very noticeable how many ringlets are around this seems to be a species doing especially well and far outnumbering meadow browns. didn't pick up any skippers and expect gatekeepers soon. Plenty of small tortoiseshell and on sunday lots of newly emerged comma.  I saw both common hawker and brown hawker perhaps the former was the possible emperor as it was a blue male

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