Since the last post I have been surveying birds as often as possible and checking the summer migrants are all in and counted. One of the last in, and a relief to see back from their African travels is the house martin colony at Admiralty Way in the village. Their chattering as they wheel about above the roof tops is a joy to watch.
Having seen these arial acrobats in it made sense to check out the survey route I had to do around Wong Farm (click HERE to see the local birding walk). I took a couple of nine year old assistants and we were soon watching dozens of swallows flying in and out of the farm buildings. A couple of birds swept inches past the faces of my assistants and drew simultaneous wows. Also around the farm were pied wagtail and linnet as well as a charm of twenty goldfinches making a clamor. In the horse paddocks a lone kestrel watched the most prolific bird of the morning.
Out on the farm tracks the swallows were soon joined by parachuting skylarks with their constant uplifting song. Trying hard to beat them for vocals were regularly heard but seldom seen wrens and the occasional chaffinch and blue and great tits.
The walk also produced brown hares, muntjac and roe deer so no shortage of variety for my companions to wonder at and they took great delight in pointing out the red admiral and peacock butterflies and jumping when they flushed pheasant or red-legged partridges. On another early morning stroll whilst seeing all the same things again just west of the village near Market lane I met a man who had recently been working on fields near Thickthorn who had seen a red backed shrike unfortunately it hadn’t stuck around but just shows that an attractive rarity can turn up anytime .
I have also visited one of my WEBS sites and was really pleased to count 27 common terns including 7 sitting on eggs. I arrived at dusk and the birds were just settling down. There were plenty of new young including greylag, Egyptian and Canada goslings. The great crested grebes were also carrying around their little stripy youngsters. on the way to the water I spotted a number of orchids which I didn’t recognise. Thanks to the power of twitter this was soon remedied.
As the light had now gone I did a little bat detecting and was rewarded with the expected with common and soprano pipistrelles which picked midges off only a few inches from my face. I was pleased to also get a noctule Britain’s largest bat on my walk and then reviewing my records I found I had recorded a rare barbastelle so all in all a good night for rarities even if none of them were avain.
No video this week just the visiting picture of a visiting rare bird seen not that far away last week and simply too beautiful not to show,