Sunday, 20 June 2010

All quiet

Slight time delay getting this short review up... ok, two weeks to be precise. As you'd expect there's not a great deal happening in June, though birdwatching is still a joy while the vegetation is at peak lush.

There was only one day to play with this month as I was busy elsewhere on Sunday morning and it rained for the rest of the day. Never mind though...

Saturday 5th June

Morning around Harpham; 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 2 Oystercatcher, 5 Great Spotted Woodpecker (4 together at New Road - presumably 2/3 juveniles), 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, and at least 30 Long-tailed Tits in one loose flock.

Arfernoon around Gembling and Brigham Quarry; 2 Grey Partridge, 4 Little Grebe, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Kestrel, 11 Coot plus 5 young at Brigham Quarry, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Common Whitethroat, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 Reed Bunting and 1 Corn Bunting (Foston bridge - as in May). Approx 30 Sand Martin holes at Brigham Quarry, though it's not obvious how many are in use.

Evening around Lowthorpe; 8 Mallard ducklings, 1 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull heading north east, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Barn Owl, 2 Reed Warbler (Kelk Lake), 1 Whitethroat, 11 Long-tailed Tit, 60 Starling on fresh cut silage.

Not many butterflies on the wing, a little disappointing - 1 Holly Blue (Foston), 10 Orange Tip, 1 Speckled Wood and 3 Wall.

This pair of Tree Sparrows have been using that old woodpecker hole - and for whatever reason I'd never noticed this hole before... doh!

Nice male Swallow on wires.

Wall buttrerfly at Foston.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Ruddy photos

Finally, here's a couple of photos of the Ruddy Shelduck. Lack of a black neck band indicates this to be a female.

Another shot of the shelduck.

Oystercatcher at Harpham - an odd location for them. Look at the state of that puddle, yuk!

Female Yellow Wagtail in a paddock at Kelk. The male was a few yards to the right.

Pheasant looking at home in the yellow jungle.

Buzzard doing what buzzards do best - sitting about in the distance!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

May I?

If I leave it any longer there'll be no review of May at all so here's an abridged version. Time to move on!

Friday 14th May

Having traveled over in the afternoon there was still a couple of hours daylight left, not to be wasted. Around Harpham were a Cuckoo (seen and heard), a Tawny Owl sitting out in the open at dusk, 2 Barn Owl, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap, a Garden Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat - the latter two were the only ones of the weekend.

Best of the bunch was the GRASSHOPPER WARBLER at New Road which 'reeled' (song) for a grand total of about 30 seconds in the 20 minutes we stood waiting in the hope it would really get going. This is the first one I've heard locally for a long time, so while more than welcome it was a bit disappointing not to have a bit more of a show. Consolation while waiting was the 2 Barn Owls mentioned and a fox slipping through the rough grass - my first of the year.

Saturday 15th May

Harpham (morning): 3 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 2 Oystercatcher, the Cuckoo again, c20 Swift, reasonable numbers of warblers (summarised later).

Gembling/Brigham (afternoon): 3 Shelduck, 9 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 22 Tufted Duck, 7 Little Grebe, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Grey Heron, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Common Buzzard, 12 Coot, 1 Oystercatcher, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Corn Bunting singing by Foston Bridge.

Strangest, though prettiest bird of the day was the RUDDY SHELDUCK at Gembling. Sightings in UK are typically considered escapees from wildfowl collections but there is discussion that a small number could reach us from either feral populations in western Europe or in exceptional circumstances from wild populations further east. In Yorkshire in mid-May... who knows?

Green Lane / Barf Hill (evening): buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 55 Linnet and 2 Bullfinch.

Butterflies today were; Holly Blue at Harpham, 13 Orange Tip, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 7 'whites'.

Sunday 16th May

Kelk Beck (morning): 2 Canada Goose, 1 Gadwall, 14 Tufted Duck, 1 Kestrel, 2 Coot, 1 Common Gull (the only one all weekend!!), 4 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Tree Sparrow, 4 Reed Bunting.

Gransmoor / Kelk Lake (lunchtime): 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhwak, 2 Commom Buzzard, 2 Coot, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Herring Gull, 1 Cuckoo, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Yellow Wagtail.

Lowthorpe / Harpham (late afternoon): 2 Common Buzzard, 2 baby Moorhen, 40+ Swift, 4 House Martin, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Bullfinch.

Butterflies today were; 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Speckled Wood, 5 'whites'.

Warbler summary

Number of singing males across the whole area over the three days

Sedge Warbler............... 14
Reed Warbler................ 1
Grasshopper Warbler...... 1
Blackcap..................... 10
Garden Warbler............. 1
Lesser Whitethroat......... 1
Common Whitethroat...... 26
Chiffchaff.................... fewer singing than in April
Willow Warbler.............. 11
Goldcrest..................... 1

The number of Common Whitethroat is much higher than 2009 but the others are low, especially Lesser Whitethroat of which there were half a dozen last May.

Year list additions:

095 Cuckoo
096 House Martin
097 Swift
098 Lesser Whitethroat
099 Garden Warbler
100 Grasshopper Warbler
101 Sedge Warbler
102 Common Whitethroat
103 Marsh Harrier
104 Corn Bunting
105 Shoveler
106 Ruddy Shelduck (ooh controversy!)
107 Reed Warbler