An Adult Winter Med. Gull was a brief visitor to the res. on Thursday 27th.
Not great images, but an example of my weak effort at Digiscoping in poor light.
The Mediterranean Gull flew off with the rest towards the north west. I think they must drop in to Thornton for a quick wash up and then carry on to Sence Valley or maybe even Albert Village.
More interesting was a probable 4th winter Yellow Legged Gull last Sunday. It was fortunate that an adult Herring Gull and several Lesser black backed were with it to help us make our comparisons. I am hoping it might drop in again this week end so I can grab a photo.
We are coppicing areas of Sallow and Willow at Brown's Wood, Thornton. The area above was done last spring(2014). Already the ground layer shows more growth thanks to the increased light levels.
An area that we have started coppicing this autumn. Looks a mess, but there is method in this madness!
An experiment to create more standing deadwood in this new woodland. We have left one standing stump and ring barked it to help it rot. A potential future nest site for a Willow Tit. Willow Tit excavate a new nest hole each spring. New woodlands lack standing deadwood.
A 14 year old Silver Birch that has grown at an angle. We cut off the trunk at about 7' and ring barked it. Hopefully it will become a rotten stump for Wilti. to excavate in the spring.
With the top part of the felled Birch, we cut off a 7-8' length and buried it , to create another stump.
We plan to add 2-3 such nesting opportunities for Willow Tit in each of the areas we coppice.
The finished scene. Just need to add a pair of Willow Tit!
I took a rare trip to Norfolk yesterday. At Stiffkey Woods I got a shot of this presumably first winter Redstart.The primaries have plenty of white edging , which forms a panel. Is this samamiscius? Over all the bird does not seem pale enough. It might be ok if it was a female , but I think this is a first winter male, where I presume the white panel would be bigger. Any suggestions?
Another eastern species!
Great Grey Shrike of the eastern race pallidirostris.
There were two Water Rails at the Markfield inflow end of the reservoir this afternoon. I think it is the first time that I have seen two together at Thornton. There were also two Kingfishers at the same spot.
I caught two Spotted Flycatchers today. Both were juveniles, indicated by fresh plumage and buff tipped greater coverts.
An adult would have very worn plumage.
Spotted Flycatchers have bred in Thornton Wood this summer. An adult was seen feeding a recently fledged juvenile, so these two might be local birds.
A group of 4 Spotted Flycatchers was seen below the dam recently. They seem to have had a successful breeding season. They are now feeding up in readiness for the long migration south to Africa. Hopefully, my two juveniles will make the trip and return here next spring to breed.
A very confiding Common Sandpiper was in the outflow. There have also been up to 5 Grey Wagtails and 4 Yellow Wagtails recently.
Fly over Curlew.
Two Swifts were over the res today 29th August along with all 3 hirundines.
Little Egret in the top pool today.
A probable first winter male Redstart was a good find by John today, again in the popular location of Redstart Hedge! There were good numbers of other warblers including Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. There were also 4 Spotted Flycatchers in the fields below the dam. A Hobby was also watched chasing hirundines.
I managed to locate a female or possibly juvenile Common Scoter yesterday afternoon. It was frequenting the central area of the reservoir. It was constantly raising its head and seemed to be rather nervous. I tried to look for it this am ,but weather conditions made this difficult. There are still plenty of Tufted duck to sieve through!
Another garden butterfly tick today in the form of a Clouded Yellow. First seen on a Buddleia in the garden and then on a Geranium at 1045. Annoyingly I did not have a chance to grab a photo before it flew up and away over the house. Perhaps we are in for an invasion this summer. There is also a SWF still frequenting the rough.
A second trip to Grafton Flyford, just east of Worcester, was successful.
A total of 3 females were seen egg laying.
Well worth the wait and now one of my favourite butterflies, and definitely the top hairstreak. Nice that the females are so photogenic and happy to pose. Approx. 8 SW Fritillaries were also seen.