Sunday, 4 August 2013

Off with a screech

The final count of Marsh Harriers did indeed reach four youngsters.  Shortly we'll be putting the results of the prey log on the blog too.  The birds themselves seem to have now dispersed from the breeding site and Martin's been logging a number of migratory harriers, buzzards and an osprey migrating over the site.  An osprey was again present today.

But the new arrivals to replace them are the sparrowhawks.  There are two pairs on site but the ones near North Marsh are perhaps the best to see - or hear at any rate as the woods currently resound to the screech of hungry fledglings - thanks to Nigel Genn for these first pictures from a couple of weeks back:
The birds are now fledged with three chicks seen perched in a tree near North Marsh this morning - Thanks to Karen Williams for these:
Darren Smith:

And Eddie Laker:
Most birds are now on the move which has brought us this little highlight - a pair of juv black necked grebes on D reservoir on the 30th and still present today - again thanks to Eddie:
Waders are starting to move though the site too and the sizable highlights from the last 10 days looks like this:

8 x little egrets on the 23rd
3 x common sandpipers on the 23rd on O res wall
1 x avocet over on the 24th
18 x little gulls south on the 26th and a further 20 on the 27th over D res, and 2 today
10 x whimbrel south on the 26th and a further 1 on the 27th and another on the 3rd
Marsh tit in D woods on the 27th
Snipe on South Marsh West on the 28th
2 x Goldeneye on D res on the 30th
Hobbys various dates
Greenshank 30th and again on Hempholme today with a peak of 4 over the res
Osprey 30th, 2nd and 3rd
Black tailed godwits on the 1st and 3 on the 3rd
Green sandpiper on the 1st and peaking at 3 today on Hempholme
Willow tit on the 2nd in D woods
2 x spotted redshank over north marsh on the 2nd
16 x lesser black backed gull on the 2nd
Crossbill on the 2nd in the car park
Lapwing x 112 on Decoy Fields
1 x golden plover

And if you havn't already seen then Tony's heron and eel pics are well worth a look.

A few nice butterflies on the wing now - we're awaiting the first hummingbird hawkmoths but plenty of commas - Karen:
And gatekeeper:
The big highlight was found by Roy and Erich last night though - purple hairstreaks on the oak trees on the path from the car park to D res East Hide.  These high flying butterflies are difficult to spot and although logged before this is the first ever photograph of one at Tophill (even if a bit distant!) - Roy:
A bit unfortunate was this buzzard they found on the way home knocked on the A164 - apparently now at Swanland Veterinary Practice so hopefully its got the best chance.
And a nursery web spider by Eddie:
Pond dipping event this Wednesday - book in advance on the usual number