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June 18th, 2012

Dandy

Another late walk

It is wonderful with mid summer approaching to be able to go out after seven and do a two hour walk and get back in daylight...it isn't going to be like that for very long so I might as well make the most of it. It was even better tonight as there was no suspicion of rain.
Did my usual bird recording: counted twenty five species and there were possibly more. All in all it was a very quiet evening with a gentle breeze coming down off the moor.
The Moorhen saga continues.Tonight both adults were out of sight....but a lone chick stalked the grass bank to the left of the pond and then disappeared.It looked to be a good size though nothing like adult yet.Only more observation will reveal how much of the family remains. There were five solo mallard drakes and one pair. No sign of the heron....and the Canada Goose and its five farmyard companions were all still very much in evidence.
Up on the Moor a Curlew flew over for the second day in succession, there were pheasants (one male with a harem of two) and across the road from the Red Box lapwings in the field. No longer doing mating flights with their spectacular verticle rising and falling but flying from time to time any way:I think I counted about six birds but there were probably more.
Star spot of the night has to be the Little Owl,at first on a fence post and then on a stone wall where it rested a while before swooping off further from the road to a point where I lost sight of it.Last year I got to see them quite often but this is only the second or third time this year.
I lost count of the number of Chaffinches I heard singing from their territorial vantage points and blackbirds were in on that act too. At one point I thought I saw two male chaffinches within about six feet of each other with one of them singing. Amazingly a starling flew onto the perch of the none singer which dropped out of sight and the other bird carried on singing. Always surprising what you see.

Edit:
On reflection the second bird (of the two "male chaffinches" must have been a bull finch: it is unthinkable that two adult male chaffinches could have been so close)