June. Wet and wild disasters


 It is fair to say that the storm clouds and heavy rain for the last two #30dayswild have been a common factor for what seems like most of this month and are not apparently related to the start of Glastonbury, the Brexit vote or the fact that I have dusted off my Barbecue. On day 25 I was hoping to do a garden bioblitz but the weather got the better of me and I ended up watching the local fledgling wrens before getting on with the arduous task of submitting bird surveys online.

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Hungry wren chicks and if you have not seen them before and want more great photographs then check out the following link (here) to the photos page.

Day 26 saw the usual heavy rain showers and as they eased I thought it would be a not to be missed opportunity to check out my local WEBS count site. It was late in the day and the best vocalists were the late singing song thrushes . There was some mammal activity too as a couple of muntjac deer skipped away on approach. There were also flyovers from common buzzards, grey herons and a couple of common terns. The latter are local nesters and I was expecting to see them along with their bigger cousins black-headed gulls as I got to my usual observation hide, however I was in for a shock. The local river had breached into the lake with the high water level and all the nest sites were submerged with a total loss of youngsters and eggs.

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Common tern sitting on a submerged nest. Credit: bobchappell55 via Compfight cc

Whilst there were a couple of terns and gulls feeding over the water I do not anticipate they will be able to raise further young this summer but I may be wrong. A further wander round the patch revealed a few singing reed warblers and a possible squeaky water rail but perhaps the highlight was a distant cuckoo calling. A female has been heard locally and a couple of males have been heard in the last couple of weeks at nearby Great Melton so at least one migratory species is having a better time than my waterlogged terns.

One other strange encounter was mixed in amongst the geese this evening which are none the worse for a bit of flooding and swam alongside a recently fledged great crested grebe. Amongst the usual suspects was a strange fellow who features in the photo below:

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Tucked in amongst a lot of Canada geese and a couple of greylag geese is the finely sculptured chestnut and cream head of ? It would appear to be a swan goose or swan goose hybrid. As this should ideally be in inland Mongolia I would anticipate this one is an escapee from somewhere a little more local. I would welcome comments from anyone who knows its origins.

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