Friday, 6 July 2012

June Bird Survey

Friday 29th June: a cloudy morning with spots of rain, occasional glimmers of sun and a strong wind. The wind made it difficult to hear the birds and perhaps they weren't bothering to sing much anyway. It was also hard to see the small birds as all the trees are in full leaf. In short, we saw and/or heard only 13 species during a two hour survey and that's the lowest number recorded this year, down from 23 species in Jan, 22 in Feb, 16 in March and April and 14 in May. Crap weather may have something to do with it (wettest April-June quarter since 1910 etc.), but also the moulting season is beginning which means some birds will be keeping a low profile as they shed their feathers. 

The highest number by far was a flock of 20+ Woodpigeons foraging on the East field. After that, 4 Carrion Crow, 4 Blackbirds, 4 House Sparrows, 3 Starlings, 3 Feral Pigeons, 2 Magpies, 2 Goldfinches, 2 Wrens and 1 each of Pied Wagtail, Robin, Great Tit and Chaffinch. The Pied Wagtail was hopping about the bowling green only a few feet away from two Glendale workers who were mowing the grass, though it eventually flew away. From previous observations, the green is becoming a regular haunt for this attractive bird which feeds mainly on insects including flies, midges and caterpillars.

Stock photo - not the bowling green!
No sign of the Great Spotted Woodpeckers (see recent posts), but we did see a fledgling Carrion Crow following its mum or dad around near the cricket pitch, sometimes opening its mouth in hope of food. It's plumage at this stage is mainly dark brown rather than the familiar all-black of the adult. A few of the smaller birds we saw did look rather disheveled (though not this Crow) which may be due to the strains of producing and feeding their needy broods.

In the cherry tree just to the south of the newly opened cafe, we saw four blackbirds flitting around and pecking at the cherries. Easy to see the speckled breast of the female in the pic. below even if the camera is slightly out of focus. 

After that, we treated ourselves to a much-needed coffee!

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