Tuesday, 16 June 2015

It's been a while.....

June 15th - various factors have kept me off patch recently, but I was a bit surprised to see that this is my first post in 4 weeks.  I spent half term week in Ireland with the family and keep getting booked up when I might have been able to get on patch.  Still, local stalwart Alan S spends a lot of time here and it doesn't look like I've missed much - there was a long staying Greenshank in late May that stayed from the 27th to June 1st - I could have seen on my return fro Ireland, but I chose to twitch the smart female Red-necked Phalarope at Theale GP instead, a much better choice, plus I've had Greenshank on patch this year already.  My first visit after Ireland was the on the 2nd and was the day the bird chose to depart.  The worst miss is undoubtedly Cuckoo, with a single silent female seen flying over the lake on the 11th - this is the only sighting so far this year, so I'm in danger of missing this bird this year, which is a bit of a sad state of affairs.

On my few visits in June, there has been a small build up of unseasonal ducks.  Five Pochard were present for a day on the 2nd and a single male was seen on the 13th and 15th; two male Shoveler and a single male Teal were also present on the 13th, with the two Shoveler still there on the 15th.  Little Ringed Plovers have obviously bred successfully nearby, as two full grown juveniles appeared on the 12th and there were three on the 13th along with four adults.  Three juvs and three adults were seen on the 15th.  I saw my first Common Tern chick on the rafts on the 3rd and there are now lots! A bumper breeding season I hope.  The first two juvenile Black-headed Gulls appeared on the 12th, presumably from somewhere nearby, though not here, and were still around on the 15th.  Oystercatchers have been ever present in varying numbers from 1 to 3 or 4.  I assume that these are failed breeders, though it is possible that one pair is breeding somewhere locally, as there was only one bird present for a while which might have been the male of a pair - probably wishful thinking.  Shelduck have also been present throughout, usually a pair but sometimes two pairs.  The Little Egrets may be down to two nests now, though only two almost full grown young have been seen so far.

That sort of brings things up to date, which brings me on to today, the 15th.  Mike M dscovered four Black-tailed Godwits and a pair of Garganey early on - six good birds for mid June.  I had to wait until early afternoon to visit as my car was in the garage, but luckily all the birds were still present.  The Garganey spent most of the time asleep on the spit, the male beginning to moult out of his Spring finery, but all were on the west side, which meant that viewing was quite good.  The Blackwits consisted of three fine summer plumaged birds and a single in non-breeding plumage.  You can but speculate where these birds came from on this date, as it seems a bit early for returning breeders.  Maybe they failed or are non breeding wanderers.  Anyway, Garganey is a nice year tick and some record shots below:

1 comment:

  1. Love the shot of the 4 BTGs in front of the Garganey, Adam - not something you see too often in Bucks! All great birds to get on patch.

    I can understand the concern re: lack of Cuckoo. Over in Hemel, on the sites I visit, we had 2 Cuckoos last year. None this year. Very much missed.