Monday, 30 July 2012

Garganey in the hand!

Today I got the very rare opportunity to take a look at a Garganey that was trapped and ringed at Wheldrake Ings NNR this evening.  Some pictures below. Also a Teal was trapped too.  Great to be able to compare head patterns.  Both birds were colour-ringed as par of the really interesting ongoing project in the valley. Garganey yellow on left and right, Teal orange on left and right. Expect some more details/better pictures on the LDV blog soon. Pics below are off phone cameras so not the best, but at least you can tell what it is!

 Garganey (Russell Slack)

Garganey (Andy Walker) 

Garganey (Andy Walker) 

 Garganey (Andy Walker) - check out the giant tertials!

Garganey (Russell Slack) 

Garganey and Teal (Russell Slack) - surprisingly subtle head patterning in eclipse

Garganey (Andy Walker)

Friday, 13 July 2012

Gropper on the Patch

Yesterday morning while walking the dogs I had a few bursts of Grasshopper Warbler song, interestingly in the same area I had a male singing on one morning (only) about 2 months back.  It was still present and a lot more vocal this morning.  They seem fairly thin on the ground in the recording area this year, compared to last year at least when there seemed to be quite a few around. Indeed, one of the York Year Listers Elite Team twitched it for his year list. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A Bit of Nest Finding

Went out this afternoon to have a look at some birds on the edge of York.  Was very pleased to see that 3 Ringed Plover chicks I've been watching for the last few weeks have managed to survive the dogs/foxes/stoats/crows/sparrowhawk/kestrels etc. on the site and have fledged - a great result.  Just as pleasing was finding another pair that had 3 small chicks, estimated at being about 10 days old, topped further by the discovery of a nest containing two recently hatched chicks with a third bird stood just out of the nest.

Ringo Nest

1 of 3 Ringo Fledglings

Also present were 3 Oystercatcher that had successfully fledged from the same site a few weeks ago.

A fairly interesting discovery involved a pair of Pied Wagtail.  I found these birds nesting in a skip a month or so back, maybe 2 months.  They successfully fledged several young.  Then they had a second brood in the same nest.  Again they fledged several young.  I went back to check the nest this week to see if there were any dead young or if they'd gone for a third brood, but there was no sign and the nest was empty.  I decided to check out the rest of the skip, just in case, and to my surprise discovered another nest, complete with Pied Wagtail sat in it! Presumably the same pair having at least their third brood!

3rd brood Pied Wagtail

On Saturday I went for a local walk in between the rain showers, was nice to see lots of butterflies (Meadow Brown, Large Skipper, Red Admiral and Ringlet) and the odd big dragonfly too.  Got a Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a few other bits and pieces, lots of warbler singing too including Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. 

Friday, 6 July 2012

Quail on the Wolds...

Not last night it wasn't!

Went back to a site where we had loads of Quail on the Yorkshire Wolds last year, and where we had one earlier in the 'summer', but last night there was not a peep unfortunately.

Not done any birding for what feels like an age, the last few weeks have been taken up by tonnes of report writing.  Hopefully got a good trip planned for next week if weather holds.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Autumn Passage is on!

Had a busy week last week which involved a lot of report writing and even some maths in the form of Population Viability Modelling, so birding was pretty much on the back-burner.  I did manage however to hear Green Woodpecker from the garden again.  Last week I had a single Common Sandpiper on a small pool on the outskirts of York while looking for Sacred Ibis (no joy with the Ibis) which I thought was a sign of Autumn. (also had a Hobby here).

Yesterday Tim said that he'd had the first Green Sandpiper of the Autumn at Hes East so I thought I'd take a look this morning to see if there was anything else about.  The Green Sandpiper was still present (see phone-scoped photo below) but more interestingly was the flock of (at least) 7 Common Sandpiper that were present along the main lake. There could have been more as they were moving into vegetation to roost and were difficult to count at times, but the maximum I had out in the open at any one time was 7!

I'd be interested to hear what the largest flock of Common Sandpiper is in the York area - wonder if this flock breaks the record? (if there is one!)

 Green Sandpiper (Phone-scoped)

Green Sandpiper (Phone-scoped)

Will be interesting to see what else gets turned up at the site over the Autumn months...