Sunday, 21 March 2010

Under construction

Yesterdays sortie down Prestwick Carr way the all the birds were singing in the brief early morning sun particularly Dunnocks. I also found four Long tailed Tit territories with birds obviously building.

One was in the Plantation adjacent the still closed Prestwick Carr Road, but along with the Willow Tit pair present close by, was too hard to locate in the mangrove swamp that currently exists. Another was in dense brambles, a repeat location from last year and another in a gorse bush. I've given up hunting gorse bushes for nests as they are always too well hidden. There was one bush just about a meter round which was used three years in a row and each year after breeding I would lie under the bush looking upwards and still couldn't locate the nest. The only way to find them though is to find them early and in one area two birds were constantly busy allowing me to track down the nest to a Hawthorn bush where the base was firmly established.

Hopefully in a few weeks the female will be doing her duty and the Hawthorn will have sprouted to conceal one of the construction wonders of the bird world. Success rate over the last five years has been about 70% with predation of poorly concealed nests the most likely failure. I will keep a watch from now on and report progress.

Elsewhere numbers were moderate with forty three species for the morning and no migrants as yet. The Rookery at the Vicarage is in full swing.

the Buzzards are a courting
and the Jackdaws are nesting in the tree on my drive with the usual consequences.

After finally seeing the distant Crane at Eschott thanks to a gathering of Northumbrias keenest birders, I returned yesterday evening to spend an excellent half hour with another gathering watching two Barn Owls hunting the Carr. Nice way to end a full birding day.

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