Sunday 31 May 2020

Friday 15th May to Saturday 30th May

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Friday 15th May

Our kestrels incubated their eggs for 23.5 hours today. 5 food passes.

(c) David Glew - Roe Deer
(c) Beth Cook - House Sparrows

(c) Simon Monk - Great Crested Grebe
(c) Dina Burford - View From Horton's Mound

Saturday 16th May

Leonard Winchcombe: 2 Black-necked Grebe & Cuckoo.

Dina Burford: Hobby.

19th site record of Black-necked Grebe, last reported 01/04/20.

Cuckoo is the 113th bird species recorded in 2020.

We all know it can be tricky keeping your plumage in top shape during lockdown, especially when expecting 5 kids any day now. 4 food passes today & the eggs covered for all but 9 minutes.

(c) Dina Burford - Cattle in the Meadow
(c) Anthony George - Goldfinch
(c) Anthony George - Juvenile Moorhen
(c) Anthony George - Release Dove

(c) Kev Campbell - Red Kite
(c) Paul Mannering - Common Blue

Sunday 17th May

John Hunt: 2 Little Grebe.

Dina Burford: Little Egret.

Dina Burford: Common Grape Vine (Vitis vinifera) - new species for site.

That feeling when your partner wakes you on a Sunday evening with a tasty snack. 7 food passes today & the eggs covered for 97% of the day.

(c) John Hunt - View from Horton's Mound
(c) John Hunt - Sedge Warbler
(c) John Hunt -Whitethroat
(c) Michael Snow - Flooded Hide
(c) Dina Burford - Common Terns
(c) Dina Burford - Mallards
(c) Kelly Wright - The Odd Couple
(c) Simon Monk - Common Tern

Monday 18th May

We were grateful to have Roger Dickey back on site to check the nest boxes and ring birds today, following an update to the BTO's COVID-19 advice for ringers. "48 pulli ringed, 23 pulli still too small, several eggs yet to hatch and 2 wood mice conducting a sit-in." Welcome back Roger!

More F1 style changeovers from our kestrels today. Eggs covered for all but 18 minutes. 6 food passes.

(c) Dina Burford - Great Crested Grebe
(c) Dina Burford - Great Tit Nest in Gatepost
(c) Alan Brown - Chiffchaff
(c) Alan Brown - Slow Worm

Tuesday 19th May

Our kestrels incubated their eggs for all but 7 minutes today, with the male sitting for almost 4 hours. 5 food passes today


Wednesday 20th May

Roger Dickey was ringing on site again today - great to have his support and expertise.

It got a bit hot in the kestrel box today so the female switched to shading her eggs (& panting to regulate her body temperature). 5 food passes. Eggs covered for 97% of the day.

(c) Colin Varndell - Buzzard vs Gull
(c) Dina Burford - House Sparrow Being Ringed
(c) Dina Burford - Reed Bunting Being Ringed

Thursday 21st May

Paul Mannering: Green Veined White - first of the year.

The kestrels continue to do a great job, with their eggs due to hatch any day now. Eggs covered for all but 11 minutes today. 5 food passes.

(c) Dina Burford - Canada Geese Family
(c) Dina Burford - Nesting Common Terns
(c) Colin Varndell - Collared Dove
(c) Colin Varndell - Mallards
(c) Colin Varndell - Wood Pigeon

(c) Paul Mannering - Green Veined White
(c) Paul Mannering - Newt and Stickleback
(c) Paul Mannering - Speckled Wood

Friday 22nd May

Kevin Duncan: 2 Spoonbill (adult & immature, low over west, then in the Meadow from 08:00 to 08:45).

Leonard Winchcombe: 2 White Stork (over early morning, presumed reintroduced birds).

5th site record of Spoonbill, last recorded 29/09/16. 114th bird species recorded in 2020.

Distinct change of behaviour from the female Kestrel today who twice brought her meals back to the box to eat. Getting ready to feed young? Eggs covered for all but 23mins. 5 food passes.

(c) Kevin Duncan - Spoonbill
(c) Dina Burford - Pochard
(c) Simon Monk - Banded Demoiselle
(c) Kelly Wright - Red-eyed Damselfly
(c) Colin Varndell - Kestrel
(c) Colin Varndell - Swift

Saturday 23rd May

Alan Brown: Spotted Flycatcher.

11th site record of Spotted Flycatcher, last recorded 19/09/19. 115th bird species recorded in 2020.

Our 1st Kestrel egg hatched at 07:19 this morning, & the 2nd at 11:09. The female brooded the eggs & young for 22.5 hours. The Male brought back 4 meals which were supplemented by prey the female cached in the box yesterday.


(c) Wendy Pearce - Cows Cooling Off
(c) Wendy Pearce - Red Admiral
(c) Wendy Pearce - Song Thrush
(c) Dina Burford - Pochards
(c) Dina Burford - New Swan Family
(c) Colin Varndell - Blue Tit
(c) Colin Varndell - Cormorant
(c) Simon Monk - Common Terns
(c) Alan Brown - Azure Damselfly
(c) Alan Brown - Common Blue Damselflies

Sunday 24th May

John Hunt: Hobby.

Richard Horton: 4 juvenile Little Grebe & 4 Lapwing (possibly 2 pairs).

Colin Varndell: Yellowhammer.

Yellowhammer is the 116th bird species recorded in 2020, last recorded 28/08/19.

Little Grebe last bred on site in 2014.

The first Black-headed Gull chicks hatched today, and the 2nd Mute Swan pair to breed on site this year have at least 3 young in the Bat Pool.

The 3rd Kestrel chick hatched at 11:30 this morning. The female fed her young almost hourly, with the male bringing 3 meals to add to the cache in the box (including 2 birds). Eggs/young covered for 22 hours.

(c) John Hunt - Long-tailed Tit
(c) John Hunt - Sedge Warbler
(c) Simon Monk - Frog
(c) Colin Varndell - Canada Goose
(c) Colin Varndell - Cinnabar Moth
(c) Kelly Wright - Cygnets
(c) Dina Burford - Jay

Monday 25th May

Sean Foote and Abi Jacobs recorded 13 new species for site today:
  • Common Red-legged Robberfly (Dioctria rufipes),
  • Creeping Cinquefoil Sawfly (Macrophya annulata),
  • Red-girdled Mining Bee (Andrena labiata),
  • Hairy Yellow-faced Bee (Hylaeus hyalinatus),
  • Brown-footed Leafcutter Bee (Megachile versicolor),
  • Woodcarving Leafcutter Bee (Megachile ligniseca),
  • Grey-patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida),
  • Shiny-margined Mini-miner (Andrena semilaevis),
  • Impunctate Mini-miner (Andrena subopaca),
  • Chocolate Mining Bee (Andrena scotica),
  • Woundwort Shieldbug (Eysacoris venustissimus),
  • Marbled White Spot (Deltote pygarga),
  • Small Longhorn Moth (Chaucas rufimitrella).

Plus one Sphecodes species (Blood Bee) to confirm, an Orange-tailed Clearwing to the lure and a Water Shrew. We're so lucky to have two such wonderful naturalists as part of our team.

We have now recorded 1,405 species on site:

The male Kestrel brought back a record 9 prey items today, and also met his offspring for the 1st time. 2 eggs still to hatch. Female feeding young roughly every 40 minutes.

(c) Colin Varndell - Carrion Crow Carrying Len's Lunch
(c) Simon Monk - Coot Family
(c) Simon Monk - Mute Swan Family
(c) Dina Burford - Great Crested Grebes
(c) Dina Burford - Painted Lady
(c) Kev Campbell - Black-headed Gull and Common Terns
(c) Kev Campbell - Black-headed Gull and Common Tern
(c) Anthony George - Banded Demoiselle
(c) Anthony George - Beautiful Demoiselle
(c) Anthony George - Common Blue Damselflies
(c) Alan Brown - Blue-tailed Damselfly
(c) Alan Brown - Honey Bee (Worker)

Tuesday 26th May

Another hot day saw the female Kestrel only covering the eggs/young for 74% of the day. The Male brought back 6 meals. 2 eggs still to hatch.

(c) Dina Burford - Black-headed Gull Chick
(c) Dina Burford - Garden Warbler
(c) Colin Varndell - Juvenile Coot
(c) Colin Varndell - Grey Heron
(c) Colin Varndell - Lapwing
(c) Colin Varndell - View Across the Meadow

Wednesday 27th May

The Kestrels continue to do a great job. 6 food deliveries by the male. The female brooded the 2 remaining eggs & 3 young for 77% of the day.

The female Barn Owl continues to sit on 3 eggs. The 1st was laid 36 days ago - they usually hatch after 31-32 days.

(c) John Hunt - Nesting Common Terns
(c) John Hunt - View from Horton's Mound
(c) Dina Burford - Second Pair of Breeding Mute Swans

Thursday 28th May

The male Kestrel brought back 9 meals today, with the female feeding her 3 chicks roughly every 30 minutes. Still no sign of the last 2 eggs hatching. 

(c) Colin Varndell - Grey Wagtail
(c) Colin Varndell - Jay
(c) Colin Varndell - Whitethroat
(c) Dina Burford - Cattle in the Meadow
(c) Paul Mannering - Brimstone
(c) Paul Mannering - Speckled Wood

Friday 29th May

Dina Burford recorded Swifts flying around, and landing on/in the Swift Tower this evening. Looks promising!

Another change in behaviour for the kestrels today, with the female hunting for the 1st time in a month & the male feeding the young for the 1st time - though he needs to learn to tear their food up! 8 prey deliveries today. Young covered 66% of day.

(c) Colin Varndell - Great Crested Grebe
(c) Colin Varndell - Moorhen
(c) Simon Monk - Coot
(c) Adam Furlonger - Colourful Collage
(c) Paul Mannering - Fritillary

Saturday 30th May

The female Kestrel only spent 53% of the day brooding today, absent hunting for 3 90 minute periods. 7 prey items delivered to the nest (5 by Male).

(c) John Hunt - View from Horton's Mound
(c) John Hunt - Common Tern
(c) Dina Burford - Small Magpie Moth
(c) Colin Varndell - Common Tern
(c) Colin Varndell - Dunnock
(c) Colin Varndell - Great Crested Grebe
(c) Simon Monk - Nesting Black-headed Gulls
(c) Kev Campbell - Banded Demoiselle
(c) Kev Campbell - Common Blue Damselflies
(c) Kev Campbell - Emperor Dragonfly

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