Tuesday, 18 May 2010


We went a little further afield than we normally do to today's location, which paid off in some ways. We didn't really see any spectacularly colourful birds, which is why I've entitled this post LBJs. For those not in the know, LBJs is an all-encompassing term used by some birders to describe the less colourful, small dull birds, or 'Little Brown Jobs', as they are more commonly known. However, these LBJs all have a redeeming feature. The Spotted Flycatcher is full of character - it has a wonderful erratic aerial flight as it sallies forth after an insect, and often returns to a favourite perch after doing so. The Woodlark has a marvellously mellifluous song, plus some attractive distinguishing plumage features: the pale supercilium over each eye, which meet at the back of the head, the pale marks along the edge of the wing, and the very short tail. The Garden Warbler, of which there were many today, has a rich bubbling song, but has very few distinguishing plumage features, but its large eye in its pale face lends it an 'air of kindness' not seen on most other Warblers. 2 years ago there were at least 6 singing Tree Pipits at this location, but there were no sign of any today, and there were no Hobbies, and the only Cuckoo heard was very distant. Reptiles also let us down, with no Adders, Grass Snakes or Common Lizards seen. We did see a couple of Treecreepers and saw 2 of the 3 species of Woodpecker present at this location. The Woodlark and even the Spotted Flycatcher were new birds for some on the course, and the venue itself was one which some had never previously visited before. Although the quantity of birds won't break any Guinness World Records, it was a site most people were keen to revisit.
The above pictures are: 2 of the Spotted Flycatchers, 2 record shots of the Woodlark, and one of a Garden Warbler. Of the 2 Willow Warblers, the one bathing is (c) 2010 Claude Hargreaves, as is the Roe Deer. There follows a Great Tit at its natural nest-hole, followed by a Pied Wagtail, then a Brimstone butterfly, a Large Red Damselfly, rounded off by a Hoof Fungus, which has been said to be found in only 1 woodland outside of Scotland, but seems to be present in many of our local birch woodlands.

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