Friday, 15 July 2016

Breeding season review

Time for some early thoughts on this years nesting season in the valley.  The mild winter had induced some species to nest early but I suspect they were caught out by the cold spring.  Some species will still be rearing young or sitting on eggs but the majority have now completed their breeding cycle and young have fledged and dispersed from the natal area.  Thus we are starting to see records of birds moving into or through the area.
Moorhen;  Badly affected by the canal dredging work and only a few young raised of which 3 at MS centre is the seemingly the only success on a stretch of canal which might have 6 nests.  The exception is the new wetland where the first brood of 2 are now fully grown and helping to raise the second brood of 4.  There is every chance of a third brood something I haven't seen since 2009 at the water bridge immediately before the harsh winter that year almost wiped out the local population of this sedentary species.
House Martin; Good numbers nesting around local streets and feeding over the barleyfield with food passing noted at beginning of July,
Swallow; nesting at north and south of valley.
Swift; numbers seem to be on a par with recent years.
Kingfisher: Occasional sightings but no evidence of  repeat of breeding of 2 years ago
Grey Wagtail;  2 juveniles regularly at wetland suggest local breeding around Compton as does 3 birds by spill weir in the week.
Green Woodpecker; juvenile on canal towpath opposite tennis club today.
Nuthatch; juvenile in station paddock last weekend
Goldfinch;  family party of 7 on bfield
Chiichaff; many juveniles and 2/3 still singing
Blackcap; one still singing and birds suddenly more obvious but may have bred elsewhere, whereas 2 weeks ago several still singing and a family party in main paddock.
Whitethroat; bit of a puzzle this year, did well at turner's field 4 singing birds and 2 family parties but apparently absent from the bfield in May but 3 singing birds into July.
Jay; family party of 4 on bfield

Gulls have returned now with 80+ black headed this morning. Only 1 juvenile but have had 3. wonder where they bred.  Also juvenile lesser black back which presumably bred in town.

Other birds passing through this week on bfield were meadow pipit, reed bunting and lesser whitethroat.

Down at pool hall the great crested grebes which have raised 2 young seem to be sitting again, a common tern adult visits regularly (surely too far to have come from belvide although I saw it flying in from that direction) and a surprising black redstart last sunday which could not be relocated.

Finally a stunning red kite (untagged) on 1st june on perton golf  course (back of 14th green) so keep eyes open,

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