Sunday, 22 June 2014

Late Breeding Bird Survey - North West Zone

Thursday June 19th

Solar Panel Field, North West Zone

It was a warm and hazy start to the morning when Laurie, Tom F. and I began our first birding transect, along the canalised section of the River Mole.

The sun beating down on a dirt track felt positively Mediterranean

In the riverside vegetation we picked up songs of Reed WarblerReed BuntingCommon Whitethroat and Wren. A lone Skylark was singing its head off by the airfield boundary, but in contrast the hedgerows were all pretty quiet.

Web of a large Orb-weaver spider...

Belonging to this lovely lady; a Furrow Spider (Larinioides cornutus)

Around the corner where the river begins to meander, we picked up the first confirmed breeding bird signs; fluffy Reed Warbler fledglings perched low-down in the Willows. 

Photo taken through my binoculars... As good as it gets!

In the scrub to the west of Brockley Wood, Blue Tits were in good numbers along with Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and a noisy pair of Linnets. Groups of fledgling Goldfinch were fluttering about, seemingly having a successful year. The northern part of Brockley Wood was busy with Jackdaws, Jay, Song Thrush and some unseen, uncharacteristically loud Bullfinches

Scrub West of Brockley

By the time we began the 2nd transect, the sun had burned off all the mist. The further along the River we travelled, the harder going the walk and the more insignificant we felt in the towering grasses... 

Riverside jungle

Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) and dense clumps of Hedge Bedstraw (Galium mollugo)

Into the 2nd transect, we picked up Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Carrion Crow and several Barn Swallows.

Large Black Slug (Arion spp.) 
The big hole in its side is the respiratory opening, called a pneumostome 

We were noticing lots of these funnel-like webs about the place...

Belonging to the Labyrinth Spider (Agelena labyrinthica) of Springwatch fame

There was an exciting moment when I thought I heard one of these...

But on second thought, it was actually one of these...

In my defense, it was quite far off in the distance.

Greenfinch and Garden Warbler cropped up toward the end of the 2nd transect, where the bordering areas become more residential. We got a good view of perching Ring-necked Parakeets. Sadly no Kingfishers today, but we saw lots of lovely damselflies including Common Blue, Banded Demoiselle and a female Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly.


We recorded a good number of fledglings today, which is all evidence of successful breeding. The final count was 33 species which is our usual total for this time of year:

1
Blackbird
Turdus merula
2
Blackcap
Sylvia atricapilla
3
Blue Tit
Cyanistes caeruleus
4
Bullfinch
Pyrrhula pyrrhula
5
Carrion Crow
Corvus corone
6
Chiffchaff
Phylloscopus collybita
7
Dunnock
Prunella modularis
8
Garden Warbler
Sylvia borin
9
Goldfinch
Carduelis carduelis
10
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Dendrocopos major
11
Great Tit
Parus major
12
Green Woodpecker
Picus viridis
13
Greenfinch
Carduelis chloris
14
Jackdaw
Corvus monedula
15
Jay
Garrulus glandarius
16
Linnet
Carduelis cannabina
17
Long-tailed Tit
Aegithalos caudatus
18
Magpie
Pica pica
19
Moorhen
Gallinula chloropus
20
Nuthatch
Sitta europaea
21
Pied Wagtail
Motacilla alba subsp. yarrellii
22
Reed Bunting
Emberiza schoeniclus
23
Reed Warbler
Acrocephalus scirpaceus
24
Ring-necked Parakeet
Psittacula krameri
25
Robin
Erithacus rubecula
26
Skylark
Alauda arvensis
27
Song Thrush
Turdus philomelos
28
Stock Dove
Columba oenas
29
Swallow
Hirundo rustica
30
Swift
Apus apus
31
Whitethroat
Sylvia communis
32
Woodpigeon
Columba palumbus
33
Wren
Troglodytes troglodytes

Mr Forward also shouted me a surprise birthday breakfast... a sweet start to the day!