Sunday, 26 July 2009

In the air

As I stepped out yesterday morning there seemed to be an air of change in the breeze. The sort of feeling normally reserved for late August / September not July. Anyway, nice day so off on a count which turned up a very respectable 52 species without a positive Sedge Warbler sighting. This is good for summer as 50+ counts normally occur in the last two weeks of April and during autumn passage so the casual water, despite not being visible, is having some effect. Numbers were generally low particularly the warblers but Wrens, Swallows, House Martins and Pied Wagtails were abundant. A singing Blackcap remains in the copse on the bad bend, a Grasshopper Warbler near Banks Pond and 14 Greylag Geese were in the flooded fields near Mayfair Cottage. My first male Migrant Hawker of the year flew up and down the road near the pine copse and a single Hare bounded out of vision when spotted.

A change from last week was the number of Reed Buntings singing. There was a singing bird every hundred yards or so last Sunday yet this week it took me two hours to find one! A well established territory near Holmes’ muckheap he sings with two standard notes and a final whistle which is most distinctive.

Over the woods there was a very verbal Buzzard and possibly hundreds of Swifts in aerial display. Speaking of which…..the Reed Arrows turned up prompt at 19.00 on Friday and with yesterday being good weather performed their special landing. A great benefit of living next to the airport are these impromptu displays no doubt egged on by the air traffic controllers. It was a high speed run in from the east in arrow formation with a steep climb into diamond nine and breaking descent splitting either side of the runway to circuit pattern and alternate landing. These are the only airplanes that actually circuit between Prestwick Road and the strip and it’s exciting to see the tight turns they accomplish heading toward your front room!

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