Monday, 31 July 2017

Late July Patch Walk...

Date: 31st July 2017
Location: Newton Park Lake
Weather: Sunny Intervals before Rain Shower
Highlights: 2 Stock Dove, 2 Jay, 2 Kestrel, 4 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Nuthatch, 3 Green Woodpecker, 1 Little Egret, 2 Kingfisher, 50+ Barn Swallow, 25+ House Martin, 9 Swift, 3 Chiffchaff, 4 Spotted Flycatcher
Full Species List Here: Spreadsheet

Observation: As weather looked settled, Finally... We headed out to the Lake. Plenty of Butterflies on the entrance to Bath Mill and on the first set of Buddleia. A single Common Blue on the hill, first of the year, on Patch.

3 Small White, 4+ Comma and 8 Red Admiral on the Buddleia, although Butterflies throughout the walk!

Onto the Dog Walk and Seven Acre Woods, there seemed to be an abundance of Butterflies but not a great deal of Birds present. Just before Seven Acre, 2 Brown Argus perched nicely and the second brood of Holly Blue's are out, although again only 3 seen here.

Just leaving the Crossroads, a Sparrowhawk took off from the floor (possibly drinking from the puddle) and flew through Seven Acre, whilst we waited, it flew back twice more, but far too quick for pictures!

Into the Village, there were more birds, with House Sparrows chirping away and also still plenty of Hirundines present.

The Barn Swallows and House Martins suddenly started doing warning calls and then the Sparrowhawk came zooming through and back over Pennyquick. Only got some poor shots.

Onto the Lake, the single Mute Swan (Billy) still present on Lower Lake along with 7 Mallard.

Top Lake, the Mute Swan family still doing well and all 6 Cygnets now feeding and foraging themselves. 4 Grey Heron present feeding and the single Little Egret also still present and constantly catching fish.

The Little Egret seemed a bit jumpier today and kept flying back to the tree, we couldn't see any reason why.

Whilst sat, we spotted the Kingfisher which spent the whole time sat fishing on the reeds, a second one flew through but didn't stop.

We walked to the top ponds, no Little Owl's but 4 juv Spotted Flycatcher seen in the normal place.

On the return, this Emperor Dragonfly landed and started munching on a fly.

We walked back the same way, more Barn Swallow's were resting on the wires and a total of 18 were counted, with plenty still in the air with the House Martins.

A second Kestrel was sat on the wires on the Crossroads.

At the Crossroads, heading back towards Pennyquick, 5 Swift flew overhead, with a further 4 on the junction of Pennyquick.

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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Little Egret returns

Date: 26/07/2017
Location: Newton St. Loe (Patch)
Weather: Grey, warm and Rain
Species Highlights:
Little Egret, Spotted Flycatcher,Marsh Tit,Chiffchaff, Black Headed Gull. 
With the excitement of me getting my 58th species of butterfly yesterday a Silver Spotted Skipper from Aston Rowant

Thought i'd have the day off from butterflies and head round patch, weather not great but started warm, grey and dry.
Normal stuff up on to Fields with Skylark, Buzzard and 5 Swift overhead, plus a flyover Black Headed Gull first since 21/03/207 a juvenile, i guess breeding over .
Looking down onto Globe Field a single female Kestrel in oak.
Into Village and a few Barn Swallow over with fewer House Martins, the 2 Martins nest which i can see are now empty.
House Martin's and Barn Swallow group feeding above Church must have been 100+ in skies.
Blackcap and Chiffchaff in Send a Cow Woodland and now it's raining.
On to Bottom Lake and grey Heron,juv plus Billy the lone Swan still about but very quiet on lower lake.
Top Lake 2 more Black Headed Gulls.

Plus a Little Egret !! 
Martin Tayler alerted me to it on the 24th and i was surprised to see it still on top lake,normally the Grey Herons chase it off.

It seems very happy preening and feeding top end, very pleased to see it, hope it stays.
Did the WEBS count and Mallard numbers looking good with 45 birds, 2 more Grey Heron Coots and Moorhen with chicks  plus 2 Ravens also present.

Carried on on towards Woodland to check for Spotted Flycatchers and saw 2 roe Deer hiding, They generally come for a drink and feed top end of lake.

It's now pouring with rain ! But Spotted Flycatcher in normal spot, saw 3 Birds calling and catching flies but my camera skills poor! even with 560mm couldn't get any decent shots. Saw them last year on the 03/07.

While sat looking at them this Chiffchaff landed for a peak, probably wondered who'd be stupid enough to be out in the rain.

One of the roe feeding, so nice when they don't even know you're there watched her for a while then headed back towards lake again for a shelter from rain in Pagoda.

While drying off watched the resident Mute Swans and young seem to be going well.

Cygnets also drying of and giving those little wings a flap.

Back up towards village and Send a Cow Woodland Blackcap, Song Thrush and Marsh Tit feeding on i think Elderberries, got one picture of Marsh Tit but won't embarrass myself, its poor!
Into Village and a few Barn Swallow on wire but House Sparrow look like they had a good year with the normal hedge full of them.

With earlier Kestrel saw 2 more on way back towards home, alway great to see them.
Ended walk on a species count of 42 not too bad.

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Patch Walk - Newton St Loe

Date: 18/07/2017
Location: Patch - Newton St Loe
Weather: Warm, Overcast
Species Highlights: 
Buzzard, Yellowhammer, Tufted Duck, Kestrel, Kingfisher.

Met a fellow birder today Paul, to show round Patch and started as the normal at the entrance to Bath Mill and walked along Brook pointing out the lack of birds, or where birds would normally be!
Very quiet apart from Wood Pigeon in trees. On up to Dog Track and through the stingers which have built up since I've been butterflying recently, nearly there just 4 species left to get!
Up onto Byway and a single Whitethroat darted into cover plus a Yellowhammer could be heard calling. The fields have been cut leaving little hope for the young Skylarks that normally can be heard on the lower fields. 
Following on around towards Seven Acre and a year tick.. for butterfly anyway on patch a Brown Argus. 

Still lovely to see. 
Red Admiral, Large and Small Whites, Comma plus Holly Blues also on bramble section.

Leaving wood behind saw a Yellowhammer on telepole calling, then flew off to join another.

Into village and House Martins still outnumbering Barn Swallows with House Martin's streaking through the skies and feed young.

Found another nest in village it seemed full of House Martins.

 On out through village and onto Fishing Lake with no fisherman for a change and Billy the Male Mute Swan still on his lonesome. 
A single Goldcrest in Yew trees but little else. Top Lake the Mute family still doing well and 6 Cygnets all present, very few Mallard and a lack of Moorhen today. 
Top End, 3 Grey Herons youngsters all practising their fishing techniques. 

But carried on to check top ponds for dragonflies of which Common Darters and a single Emperor were present. Sat and ate a sandwich and a Buzzard soared overhead.

On way Back at Top Lake, a female Tufted Duck had arrived first since March 30th, plus a fly through Kingfisher.

House Sparrow numbers in village seemed a bit low with a single Pied Wagtail Juv in with Pig's at busy Farm Shop.

At second horse fields saw 3 Kestrel, Buzzard and a few Lesser Black Backed Gull feeding in skies maybe flying ants?
Pictured below Juvenile Kestrel sat watching mum and dad in skies above.

Not a lot on rest of the way back but time of year always slow ended on a count of 37 Species. 
Butterfly species count 14 species.

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Monday, 10 July 2017

Feeder Time and Patch Wander...

Date: 10th July 2017
Location: Newton Park Lake - Return
Weather: Cloudy but Brightened to Blue Skies
Other Species: Full Sightings List

Observation: We both haven't been out on the patch recently so a walk was required, whilst Wayne had a break from Butterflies where he is currently on 55. Before we started the walk, I spent a few minutes in front the Feeders, the tree's are FULL of both adult and young birds and the feeders are emptied by them every morning!

This morning's count included: 1 Jay, 3 Coal Tit, 3 Bullfinch, 8 Blue Tit, 5 Great Tit, 7 Goldfinch, 2 Collared Dove, 1 Crow and 2 Wood Pigeon.

Jay (Juvenile)

Collared Dove (Adult)

Coal Tit (Juvenile)

Bullfinch (Adult Pair)

Blue Tit (Juvenile)

Goldfinch (Juvenile)

Blue Tit (Juvenile)

Onto the Walk, through Bath Mill and up the Dog Walk was very quiet, a single Chiffchaff was the best.

A single Skylark was heard singing as we crossed over into the Village. A group of 5 Collared Doves by the new cottages with calling House Sparrow's, Goldfinches and Blackbirds, along with House Martin's and Barn Swallow's soaring around by the Farm Shop.
A pair of Pied Wagtail feeding on the roofs of the Farm Shop also.

Onto the Lakes -
Bottom Lake still has the solo Mute Swan (Male), with a few Mallard one of which has a new brood of 3 ducklings.
Top Lake pretty quiet due to the water levels being low, the brood of 6 Cygnets still present with the Adult pair. A count of 45 Mallard (highest count since April), 2 Coot, 3 Grey Heron and a single Moorhen.

4 Buzzards on thermals around the Lakes also.

Before doing the return route, we had a check of the Ponds for Dragonflies. After a short wait, we got a few shots of the Emperor Dragonfly (Female) also 2 Male's present.

Also an abundance of Northern Damselflies around the Ponds.

On the return, we walked back through the Lakes, the Mute Swan brood were away from the bank so we took a few pictures.

Back at the Village, the House Sparrow were enjoying the mud pit in the Pig pen, feeding on the flies.

A single Linnet, a fly-past Kestrel and a further 2 Buzzards also seen taking the Species count to 36.

Plenty of Butterflies around today including - Red Admiral, Comma, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Large Skipper, Essex Skipper, Small White and Green-Veined White.



Back onto the Feeders and a few more shots taken after the walk today.

Goldfinch (Adult)

Great Tit (Juvenile)

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