Thursday, June 1, 2017

Into June

Yes, regular reader, I know Wednesday was perfect for birding and photography but I was busy with half-term duties. Today was the first opportunity to get out and about and although weather-wise this morning wasn’t the best, it was dry and warm for the first birding of June. 

The set-aside at Cockerham is coming on a treat with lots of oil-seed rape in the mix giving the field a bright yellow glow. I stopped off to check out the couple of pairs of Skylarks close by. 

Set-aside field - June 2017



As before, Gulf Lane is still off limits for ringing due to the latest ringing ban caused following the latest avian flu. But that doesn’t stop us getting details of a recovery from our ringing of over 200 Linnets during the winter. 

This time it wasn’t a Linnet but a Reed Bunting that popped into the in-tray. Andy and I ringed Z860844 a first autumn female Reed Bunting on 12 October 2016, one of only two Reed Buntings caught from September 2016 to March 2017 at Gulf Lane where Linnets were the main target. There is a wet ditch running alongside the plot of set-aside and to see and/or hear a Reed Bunting or two is pretty regular. 

Reed Bunting
The BTO details tell us that Z860844 was recaptured by another ringer on 10 May 2017 at Little Crosthwaite, near Keswick, Cumbria, UK, 81 km NNW of Gulf Lane. Unfortunately the recapture information didn’t tell us if the female was in breeding condition or in a potential breeding locality on 10 May even though the date would suggest it should be. 

Reed Bunting - Cockerham to Keswick, Cumbria

At Conder Green the roadside Oystercatchers have gone from the now empty nest. We will never know for sure what happened but maybe the pair will learn from their mistake in laying eggs so close to a very busy spot. It’s not just eggs that disappear as the pair of Avocets that a day or two had two youngsters now gone missing to ground or avian predators. 

I saw eight Avocets this morning of which two pair appears to be nesting and the other four birds being only possibilities as it is now into June. Also, they spent a lot of time flying between the pool and the creeks rather than sorting out any domestic arrangements.

The remaining Oystercatchers are doing okay with 7 or 8 pairs in attendance and one of those pairs still with two growing youngsters. Otherwise – 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Shelduck, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Common tern, 4 Little Egret, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Kestrel. 

A circuit of Jeremy Lane and Moss Lane was a little quiet perhaps due to the cooler, cloudier morning; but I did count 10 Skylark, 7 Sedge Warbler, 6 Whitethroat, 6 Tree Sparrow, 4 Reed Bunting 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler at least two broods of recently fledged Pied Wagtails. 

Pied Wagtail

If anyone saw the Autumn Watch programme on TV the other evening they may have wondered why the BBC found it so hard to show us Brown Hares? They are all at Cockerham BBC! 

Brown Hare

Brown Hares

Nothing doing tomorrow as my car is due a main service, but back to normal Saturday on Another Bird Blog. 

Linking today to Anni's Blog and Eileen's Saturday Blog.


Billy Blue Eyes said...

Do like the brown hare photos, I've not seen many of hares at all around here lately. Lots of rabbits though and we thing a magpie upsetting a Blackbirds nest the other day

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good morning Phil: I have noticed that you frequently refer to "set-asides." This is a term unfamiliar to North Americans, but I am assuming this is an area "set aside" for the benefit of wildlife, with the farmer perhaps receiving compensation, or tax relief, for taking part of his land out of production. Am I correct in this assumption? If so, it's a wonderful idea.

Linda said...

I especially love the hares and the Reed Bunting, Phil! Beautiful!

Stuart Price said...

Well we have the same species and flowers for a change..........

Lowcarb team member said...

... and I'm sure your half term duties are appreciated.
Really like the Brown Hare photographs.

Have a great weekend

All the best Jan

eileeninmd said...

Hello! Love the hare photos, Phil! The Skylark is a beauty. Wonderful closeups of the birds, great captures. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Jeanne said...

Love your shots of the skylark and reed bunting! Glad you got a break from half term duties. Always good to get away. Very cute shots also of the bunny!

sandyland said...

so all love the rape ??

Rajesh said...

Fantastic shots of the birds. I like that Pied wagtail.

Lea said...

Skylark! - so pretty!

Jutta.K. said...

Great and beautiful shots.
I wish you a wonderful Pentecost
Warm regards

Patrycja P. said...

Photo of Skylark is amazing! Wonderful observations.

Anni said...

That's the buff ring around it's neck like a collar. And the has to be one of my favorites of all European birds that you show us. The hares' eyes are mesmerizing to be sure. Too bad about the flu. Does it ever go away like the maladies of human flu?

Thanks for sharing this weekend, at I'd Rather B Birdin'. Your participation is always so much appreciated Phil!!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil,:) getting a break has been all too infrequent since returning from our holiday as there has been so much to do on the farm, and we always have family here on weekends. I always seem to be catching up, with my blog friends, but it's always a pleasure when I do. Lovely shots of the Skylark, Reed Bunting, Pied Wagtail, and Hares. We never see Hares where I live either, but my father in law used to hunt, and would return with many hares, partridge, and ducks, which is the only time I have ever saw a hare, unfortunately a dead one! Love your shot of the bright yellow oil-seed rape filled field.

Jean said...

Wonderful photos of the birds and the bunnies. I've seen quite a few rabbits (interesting how different they look around here) lately as well.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil!:) Ha ha!!!:=) I laughed when you asked if the berries of the Mediterranean smilax could be made into wine! I know how you enjoy a glass of wine, however... they are unpalatable for human consumption, but drinks are made from the roots of the Smilax plant, one being Sarsaparilla, and the birds get a huge amount of nourishment from the berries.

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