Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Although there were plenty of birds on their normal supermarket shelves, there were some differences from the last visit a few weeks ago. There were many more Puffins to see - we probably saw more than 50, and several of these were sitting at the top of the cliffs for the first time. We also had some flying around our heads, which has never happened to us at this location before. There were fewer Guillemots, so presumably their young have already left their ledges, so there is no need for the adults to remain. So, if you want to catch up with the birds of rocky cliffs, now is the time to do so, as in a fortnight's time most of the Puffins, Guillemots and Razorbills will have left!
Monday, 27 June 2011
The Owl Safaris are now settling into a routine, and usually take this format:
1. A walk in search of the Tawny Owls roosting in daylight - 2 adults & 4 Chicks
2. On the way look for Yellowhammers, Linnets, Great Spotted Woodpecker etc
3. Try & find the Little Owls - some visits more successful than others
4. Share cars to admire the amazing Southern Marsh, Common Spotted & Pyramidal Orchids, plus Goatsbeard etc with plenty of 6-Spot Burnet Moths.
5. Share cars & sit & wait near a Badger Sett.
6. Return to the gallery to watch Tawny Owls feeding their chicks.
Saturday followed this routine accurately, but last night's visit was put out of a kilter a little by Robert's gearbox breaking on his Discovery, so we missed the Badgers leave the Sett, but saw a sow & 2 cubs returning just after 9.30. Then for the 1st time the Tawny Owl chicks didn't come down to be fed before the party broke up at 11pm. It is thought that the heat may have affected the birds' appetite!
Tawny Owl - female
Saturday, 25 June 2011
Record Shot of Osprey
The bird of the morning was undoubtedly the Osprey, which flew over the group a couple of times before settling on a post in the middle of the heathland. This is only the 2nd ever recorded in the 7 years of the courses, and is the first for the Friday am group. The Osprey couldn't be relocated in the afternoon, but the session was enlivened by a Hobby, which gave several sorties over the lake attempting to snatch dragonflies. A very insoucient Tiger beetle was obseverved in the afternoon. She was busy being rogered by a male, but she was calmy chewing an insect while this indignity was being performed on her. The Red-Necked Grebe has started to moult, so its colours were not as vibrant as when the Thurs crowds visited a few weeks ago. There were fewer singing birds than on previous visits, although a Coal Tit was new, but there were certainly a lot more flowering plants on the northern side of the car park. One of which is going to have to wait for identification after tonight's Owl Safari.