Saturday, May 21, 2011

No Time Wasters Please

They don’t lose any time these birds. It is just a few weeks since counting them in as newly arrived from Africa and already I’m counting up the nest records. Another couple today at Out Rawcliffe with a nest of Willow Warblers being fed by parents, the young too small to ring and too small to safely take a closer look at, but I’ll leave it a few days for them to fatten up from their protein rich insect diet, then ring them. The Willow Warblers are behind the Chiffchaffs at Thurnham yesterday, with 2 pairs of adults feeding young, the young themselves from one nest almost too big to ring from the danger of the youngsters exploding from the nest.


A walk around the ringing site today revealed 7 or 8 pairs of Whitethroat, 4 pairs of Sedge Warbler and 7 or 8 pairs of Willow Warblers, the latter birds already much quieter now they all have parental duties in the form of eggs to mind or any day now, mouths to feed. The Swallows too are busy with a pair having 2 eggs in their annual unused shed location. I checked out the Sparrowhawk nest I found early in the week to find more sticks added but well short of a complete nest and no activity when I was there; rather strange, but it is getting a little late in May for the hawks to start out and maybe they were just playing at mums and dads for a while?

There seems to be just the single pair of Corn Buntings, as there has been since March the male still singing from the ditch side tree, but no sign of the female today. They must be at it, but Corn Bunting nests can be very difficult to find and I really didn’t have a few hours to spare.

Corn Bunting

Near the Swallow shed were 2 Yellowhammers singing out their “little bit of bread and cheese”. I stopped to check so scarce are they nowadays and there were actually two birds singing against each other. There are people who live in the countryside oblivious to the various birds all around them, and wouldn’t recognise the distinctive tune of a Yellowhammer at all. They are fortunate to have the Yellowhammer as a neighbour, and perhaps wouldn’t miss its melodies; let’s just hope yellowhammers and their song stay around. Click on xeno-canto to hear the Yellowhammer's song.


I watched one of the pairs of Buzzards, careering round the sky, calling for all they were worth but checking me out when I came near the wood. Oh for a nice sunny morning and a bit more know-how with the camera to get decent pictures instead of wasting my time on such crappy shots.




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