Saturday, 20 June 2015

The mid summer doldrums

Its that time of year on the patch where its slow going on the birding front... However, I enjoyed a leisurely 6 hours on the patch this afternoon, finding a few interesting bits and pieces, including a female Gadwall with 4 ducklings on Mons Pool (not an annual breeder) and my first young Little Egret of the year (which had evidently escaped the ringers earlier in the year). Nearby, a single Turtle Dove was purring near the works, and a Curlew flew east over the site - the first for a while.

Meering was pretty quite, but I enjoyed my fish and chips listening to a purring Turtle Dove, which was then joined by a second purring bird and a third individual. I've not had two purring birds at this site before; could the second individual be an unpaired bird from Collingham Pits or Girton trying to find a mate?

Modest numbers of butterflies were on the wing, but included my first Small Skippers (3), Red Admirals (2) and Ringlet (1) of the year, plus a Painted Lady. Various parts of the site were looking splendid with swathes of bird's-foot trefoil humming with little bees (red-tailed bumblebees I think). I found a big new patch of Southern Marsh Orchids at Meering (80+), along with at least one Common Spotted Orchid and several big hybrids, and saw three foxes (including a vixen with a cub) and a couple of brown hares. 

So all in all, a very pleasant day, only spoilt by noting excessive verge cutting around the site, and on the Notified Road Verge on Westfield Lane which had been mown, destroying the flowering wild clary (which inly grow at a handful of sites in Notts). Grrr. 

Red Kite but no Rosy Pastor

Earlier in the week I finally bagged a Red Kite for my Notts yearlist; I was visiting Cotham Landfill for work, and had one cruise overhead as I pulled into the site. It then showed well for the next 10 minutes or so at least.

Less fortuitous was the circumstances surrounding the Rose-coloured Starling in Cotgrave. I couldn't go the night it was found, so visited the following morning before work. There was no sign of it, and only a few of us looking. Poor old Jason Reece was one of them, having missed it by 10 minutes the night before due to cooking duties...

Sunday, 14 June 2015


Earlier in the week, I enjoyed the Red-necked Phalarope at Langford Lowfields - my second for Notts after the one at Kilvington Lakes a few back. The following day, I was tantalised by the Gull-billed Tern at Lound, but it seemingly did a flit before I left work, which I supposed saved my chasing round the site trying to pin it down in the evening. 

This weekend, most of yesterday was spent playing hockey in the rain, but a late afternoon patch visit produced the thick end of not much at all, and much of today was doing stuff in the house, with a trip up to Girton to do my WeBS count; there were several hundred House Martins and Swallows feeding on chironomid midges along Trent Lane, swooping past at head height - maybe 300 of the former and 150 of the latter, but difficult to say. A 1st summer male Goldeneye was the the pick of the wildfowl; I wish I'd gone a-twitching to Norfolk for the two Acro's on Blakeney Point - both would-be ticks...

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Honey at Welbeck

In between redecorating the hall and staining the garden furniture (rock and roll), I managed one visit to the patch this weekend (Saturday), and a second visit of the year to Welbeck Raptor Watchpoint (Sunday). Collingham was quiet... the highlight was a family of Shelduck with 10 new ducklings on Mons Pool. 

Welbeck today was at full capacity, but I found a spot next to Alan Clewes, and after 2 hours a Honey Buzzard cruised overhead at about 1240, circled back round, and then disappeared off to the west. No Osprey this time, and no Red Kites - having now seen Monty, Osprey and HB this year in Notts, Red Kite is beginning to be a bit of a glaring hole in my Notts yearlist...

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Skippers, orchids and a gull

A fun day out today; it began with some successful Grizzled Skipper surveying at various sites in south Notts; we found a new location for the species at a site where we have been expecting to find it, which was great, and also found a three eggs at another site - one on cinquefoil, and two on agrimony; the first time I've seen eggs on the latter plant.

Whilst looing for skipper, I saw my first common twayblade of the year, plus a large popultion of southern marsh orchids at Cotham Restored Landfill, with around 200 flower spikes - I've not seen them here before, but they must've been here a few years!

Finally, a quick look at Kilvington Lakes produced a 3cy Yellow-legged Gull with a GBBG and 2 LBBG's. In addition, there were two Mute Swan families, and a pair of Shelduck with 12 ducklings.

Monday, 1 June 2015


After a quite patch visit on Saturday morning, I headed over the Welbeck Raptor Watchpoint; the Honey Buzzards failed to show, and there were no Red Kites to be had either, but (one of?) the Ospreys put on a nice show.

Sunday, and two patch visits, morning and evening, didn't produced the hoped for Sanderling, which seemed to be turning up all over the place. The fact that four out of the five Coot nests on Mons Pool had been flooded out by the recent rains didn't improve things, but hundreds, maybe 500, Swifts were over the site.