Wednesday, 7 August 2013

My last month- July

A family party of 5 Grey Wagtail were showing on the river in stourport town center, 2 adults and 3 Juveniles. At one point, the two adults were mobbing an American Mink as it ran along the edge of the river for a good distance, only once the Mink was about 100m away from the young, did they stop mobbing it.

Moving further downriver, i moved onto a small site of heathland adjacent to Hartlebury Common on the patch side of the road, where a Cuckoo was heard singing, and 2 Willow Warbler were also singing. The 2nd area of the patch to hold breeding birds this year!

11 Goosander (adult female with 10 young) flew upriver past Lickhill, presumably the female which was seen to have chicks earlier in the year on patch. 2 Eclipse male Mandarin were still present at Lickhill, and the 5 Grey Wagtail were still showing.

A survey for Mandarin Duck came up with a new record count for the patch, when 16 birds were found, 2 eclipse drake, 3 adult female, and 11 nearly fledged chicks, including these birds which favored a log on the edge of the river.
A large emergence of Scarlet Tiger moth had me seeing over 40 of these stunning moths, with the main emergence centered around Blackstone.

Visiting Upton Warren with the Girlfriend, we worked our way across both sides of the reserve. At the Moors, we quickly located the 3 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS, feeding on the East Islands, other-whys it was quiet, bar the first returning Pochard of the winter (a drake), 10 Common Tern and a Cetti's Warbler.
The Flashes revealed the expected Wader species, with 9 Green Sandpiper, and a single Common Sandpiper. The trio of Blackwits dropped in, before flying off south when flushed by a Sparrowhawk. A juvenile Little Ringed Plover had also joined the wader's, but was obviously raised elsewhere.

A drop into Sheepwash had me seeing a Marbled White on the mound, my 2nd sighting at Sheepwash this summer. Slightly more expected though was the Gull flock, which included a LBBG, with the leg ring K+H. I have personally never came across a bird with a + as the middle character, so if anyone can shed any light on the record, please do.

A friday afternoon drop into Upton Warren had us seeing a nice array of waders. A moulting male RUFF was showing on the Flash, as was a adult GREENSHANK. 35 Avocet were still in attendance, while other migrant waders were 7+ Green Sandpiper , 1 Common Sandpiper and a Dunlin. 16 Curlew spent some time on the flash before flying off.

Another patch visit, again to count Mandarins had me counting 15 birds, but of a completely different combination of ages/sexes. I will have to wait until the end of the summer to judge the true figure, but looking through my notes and photos, it would seem that 20+ Mandarin have summered/being raised on the river this year.
3 Eclipse drake, 3 juvenile drake, 3 adult female and 6 un-sexed juveniles were found. A new brood of chicks was found, the 3rd breeding record of the year, with a female with 2 still downy young in tow. A single Emperor dragonfly was hawking the river, and a multitude of Brimstone butterflys were on show, including one which decided it wanted to use me as a perch!

Masses, potentially above 1000 very young Frogs were found, literally each step you would take 40 spring out of the grass below you! Some sight!

While looking for Dragonflys around the Gadwall lake at the south end of the patch, a loud 'glipping' sound alerted me to the presence of a flock of 5 CROSSBILLS flying over! Only the 2nd patch record, and the largest flock to date. With the large number in the country currently, it may be worth looking through these migrant flocks of Crossbills, even in the midlands, as their cousin, the Two-Barred Crossbill is also experiencing a influx!
Get looking folks!

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