Sunday, May 28, 2006

Black-winged Stilts - MMWWT, Lancs - 27th May 2006.

I finally went to see the breeding Black-winged Stilts at Martin Mere WWT, and i'm glad i did. Super birds. During the 1.5hrs watching them, the pair changed incubation duties twice, with the male chasing Avocets and Black-headed Gulls away from the nest area.

One of the Stilt wardens told me that they are being watched around the clock. The other night, a Fox suddenly appeared in the wardens night vision scope, actually on the small island where the nest is! The Warden sucessfully 'lamped' the fox using a flashlight and fortunately the Fox went away.

Lets hope for the best. The projected hatching date is approx 9th June, I think i recall the wardens saying.

Avocets with young, 12 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, 2 LRP, 2 Whooper Swan were also seen from the Ron Barker hide.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Woodchat Shrike - Torver, Cumbria - 9th May 2006.

This 1st summer Woodchat was present in a Sheep enclosure adj to Torver Low Common nr Coniston. Favouring isolated hawthorns, the bird wasn't showing as close as i had hoped it would, without entering the enclosure which I assumed was private.

A non-birding local told me the bird had been heard singing on occasion, and therefore a male, but from plumage I couldn't sex it as such - if indeed it is possible to confidently sex non-singing 1st summers with the appearance of this bird in the field?

Common Redstart, a stunning male Whinchat and Yellowhammer were all singing in the vicinity. Also, Common Buzzards and a pair of Raven overhead. A quite stunning location.