Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Shalford patch diary, May so far.

May's been a busy old month for me, so whilst there's been no Lammergeier or Dalmatian Pelican, there's still a fair amount to report from the local patch in the past three weeks or so. The spring migrants have continued to flood in, with most of the expected species arriving more or less on cue although I've still not caught up with Cuckoo, Lesser Whitethroat and a few others, on the patch at least. The first Garden Warbler was bubbling away in Broom Meadow early on the 4th though and by the third week of the month there were at least four around the recording area.
On the 9th, meanwhile, the first Reed Warbler of the year was singing near St Catherine's Pool, with again further arrivals in subsequent days including one singing in a clump of bamboo by the Riff Raff weir on the 12th! On the evening of the 11th it was delightful to stumble across a Spotted Flycatcher living up to its name in trees along the navigation towards Broadford Bridge, I heard it again the following morning but have seen no sign of it since so suspect it may have moved on.
Spotted Flycatcher
 Other migrant species are seemingly still moving through, particularly Swifts which have increased greatly in the last week or so, although there are clearly still Swallows and House Martins coming through too. It's been wonderful to watch these aerial aces skimming low over the water at St Catherine's Lock. Sedge Warbler numbers still seem rather erratic, peaking so far on the 12th when there were at least six present.
Swift at St Catherine's Lock
Sedge Warbler in Bog Meadow
Two species I'd anticipated adding to the patch list without too much difficulty were Kingfisher and Common Tern so I was pleased to catch up with both recently. The latter were my 100th species at Shalford this year, with two flying south early on the 18th. Kingfishers meanwhile were heard near Riff Raff weir on the 14th and then seen in the same area again on the 23rd. In other news, I've noticed a slight increase in gulls flying over in the past week or so, with quite a few Herring and Lesser Black-backeds on the move, particularly on the 18th. Other recent flyovers of note have included single Little Egrets north and south-west on the 7th and 12th, respectively, a single Egyptian Goose north-east on the 18th and, most surprisingly, two Great Crested Grebes high south-west early on the 9th with a Mandarin in tow!
Great Spotted Woodpecker
There's been lots of evidence this month of birds breeding around the water meadows, with both Treecreeper and Starling seen carrying food to trees in Broom Meadow, Grey Wagtail young calling under Broadford Bridge, and a family group of Mistle Thrushes in the horse field near Broadford Marsh.

Away from the patch, on the 12th I made my first visit of 2016 to nearby Blackheath hoping for Nightjar and sure enough heard at least three churring males, along with two singing Cuckoos and a bonus singing Redstart - my first record for this site since I've lived locally.

No comments:

Post a Comment