Monday, 11 May 2009

Up and down

An up and down weekend in every sense of the word. Saturday started bright so out to the Carr for my weekly count notching up 51 species including new additions of Swift and Garden Warbler but amazingly couldn’t see or hear a Curlew so hopefully this is a sign of birds on the nest. The Garden Warbler is at the same location as the last two years although I’ve never seen any sign of a mate or breeding attempt. He’s a bugger to photograph to boot.

87 Garden Warbler
88 Swift

The cold wind then returned so the afternoon was devoted pasting up the March BiN returns whilst trying to hep the Blackbird pair in the back garden beat off repeated Magpie attacks. We failed of course even after picking up one young from my neighbours lawn and returning it to the nest. It was well developed but feathers still 50% in pin therefore not viable to leave out. The wretched Magpie didn’t wait long before returning and finishing the job. Sad at this loss and in fear for the Jackdaws in the front tree who now are clearly audible and attracting the attentions of the Cat that saw to two nests last year, I considered the merits of controlling these predators (in the ‘kill them’ sense) but sanity prevailed with the help of a good bottle of wine. Thanks Ed!

Sunday morning up early to do my BBS count near Longwitton. Good weather and reasonable count although couldn’t find or hear any Lapwings which is unusual. Four Wheatears greeted me at the start and found four singing Tree Pipits which is a high for the site.

Back home the male Blackbird is still looking at me like I was responsible and worse still, two naked House Sparrow chicks were dead under the rear box. This happened last year as well and I can’t work out what is responsible. The male House Sparrow spent all weekend on top of the box and the female is inside so hopefully not all is lost.
Off up the county to try and forget the trauma. Druridge Pools gave up splendidly with Little Egret, Garganey and nine Black tailed Godwit. Then three playful Otters on the island in the main pool. The gentleman in the hide informed me that three Avocets had been reported flying north so the rest of the afternoon was spent in enjoyable pursuit finding Barnacle Geese, Bar headed Goose, White Wagtail and Whimbrel but without Avocet success.

...and after all that, was reading other blog's and realised I'd forgot to do my webs count......plonker!

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