Monday, 20 October 2014

Winter territories

Many apologies to our reader for the lack of recent posts.  Now that our summer visitors have departed interest turns to the winter residents and arrivals and their interactions with each other.
Some species maintain and defend winter territories, such as robins, and fiercely defend them like the squabbling moorhens on the canal this morning who seem to remain in pairs and still have late youngsters hanging around despite being fully grown.
Others ,such as redwing and fieldfare flock and feed en masse.  I have only seen the odd redwing so far perhaps due to the mild conditions in Scandinavia. In contrast song thrushes keep to themselves so it felt unusual to have 6 together in the paddocks at end September.
On the canal a kingfisher is regularly seen just south of newbridge and may remain all winter.
grey wagtails having been absent all summer appeared in good numbers at the end of September with at least 6 in the valley (Aldersly junction, water bridge, newbridge 2 , meccano 2)  I suspect some were passing thru but one remains by double pennant and at least one at newbridge.  Unless we have a very harsh winter both species should remain.
A taacing blackcap was by the smestow near st michaels school( a regular wintering spot) today and belatedly I should report one in song, albeit subdued, in mid September.
Nuthatches were very vocal and seem to have had a good year . 2 little grebe were on the canal on 1st October but none today altho they can be elusive. A red admiral butterfly was still around yesterday which made me wonder if any clouded yellows made it this far north there were many on the Cornish coast.