In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leucistic Little Owl image copyright Hilary Chambers, Durham.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

monday meander

the week began in fine style with a morning scan resulting in a Hobby chasing House Martin over centre of Town !!
( thats it on the garden list in 2 consecutive years. )

a sure sign of a good day to come
so off out along the Burn.
Difficult at times,

in the open with a cool N'ly breeze - Swallows & House Martins fed in a frenzy, the Swallows especialy sweeping along the path just past our feet.

out of the breeze, with a bit of sun & what a difference.

A fair old selection as expected, but no real surprise ( suppose id already used my quota of luck for the day ) other than a Green Sand - i allways wonder which way June Green Sands are headed, North or South ? are they late or failed breeders or even none breeders who aint travelling any further ? who knows.

Banded Demoiselles were a feature of the day
Previously id only seen a single last year, at The Floaters with Spuggy.
although today there were more than a dozen at 3 spots along the burn, with the first being 5 or 6 at Sedgeletch.

I-phone - binned (should have been binned full stop.)

Now i would have thought these were Dragonflies -
But, a quick check with everyones favourite Roker-based gull watcher & he put me right.
Obvious when you know:-
When Dragonflies rest they hold their wings open
When Damselflies rest they hold them closed over the top of their body.

Thanks again Martin.

Reg Kes perch

A selection of those seen includes:-

The Burn:
Sparrowhawk, Dabchick, Mute Swan, (h)Water Rail, 6+GSWoodpecker, 10+Treecreeper, Coal Tit, 1Dipper, 2Spotted Flycatcher, 2Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Bullfinch, 1Jay, etc

The Gate:
7Shelduck, 48Swift, 1Buzzard, 1Redshank, prCurlew, 36+ loafing Lapwing + sev other breeding pairs.

66Lapwing mostly fledged young, 1Little Owl, Tree Sparrow pr with fledged young, 35House Martin sev collecting mud, 2prShelduck, 1Curlew, 1Redshank, 1Green Sandpiper, 120Starling, 2prStock Dove, juvChiffchaff.

Rainton M's:
2pr Willow Tit with young, 3m Lesser Whiethroat singing, prStock Dove, 1Little Owl, prBullfinch attending nest with young, mTeal, 1Common Tern, 1mLittle Ringed Plover.

Interesting today were the Lapwings,
A couple of post breeding flocks with decent nos of fledged young.
Also found a nest with 4 eggs right at the pathside in a field which had incubating birds right at the start of the season (late March).

Peewits only 8' from path; never got so close to one, she only came off at last moment.

we've been attempting to "persuade" Tree Sparrows into the reserve area at Rainton & are seemingly a little closer, with a family party only a few hundred metres away from a cluster of boxes - maybe they'll move house for the next brood ? ;-)

only had one fledged Kingfisher (& 1adult), i stopped to look at a brood of Mallard only to see it frozen beneath me only yards away

- after a good look i continued - it flew giving a strange yaffle-raptor like call as it went upstream.

I-phone - binned

Lots of grass getting cut as the day dried out - giving good short term hunting opportunities for our long-winged owls - with Herring Gull, Meadow Pipit, Curlew & Oystercatcher all coming in as soon as the field was cut.

along one of the final stretches a noisy Crow irritated me.
He had come up off the track & was in the tree top waiting for me to move & me waiting for him to shut up so i could listen for Quail.
Round the corner, all became clear - a half eaten meal of Partridge eggs.
Along the next 300m or so, i counted 18 brocken shells of either Pheas or Partridge.

RMs was excellent for passerines, considering the time of day, Willow Tits stil doing well here, Bullfinch went to a nest with noisy young, 3 male Lesser Whitethroat sang regularly.
On a less positive note we have lost several breeding species over this year or two, namely:- Redshank, Common Tern, Short-eared Owl, Cuckoo, Ruddy Duck, Barn Owl.
Heres hoping the drake Teal thats hung on has a mate tucked away close by.

Smashed anothor digi-camera - thats 4 ive gone through in 2 year
I reckon i can manage with the fone-camers ok, if i get some practice in . . .

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