Saturday, June 19, 2010

17th/18th June,2010.

The overnight Corncrake survey proved to be somewhat disappointing. Despite birds calling at various points in the days previously, the night provided a poor showing with only two territories being recorded. Conditions were not the best with an onshore NW breeze that brought the "sound of the sea" washing over the landscape. The ambient temperature was lower than previously, which I also believe makes a difference. All previous sites where presence had been registered were covered, but to no avail, except our getting devoured by midges at some points!! Corncrakes should be well into breeding by now and it may well be the imperative to attract mates, or announce territory, coupled with the less than perfect conditions simply produced a less than perfect survey night!

Whilst various waders were calling from time to time odd Grasshopper Warbler and Sedge Warbler were still stoically singing at various points. Strangely enough not much else was seen ,i.e.owls or mammals ,which, again, was rather disappointing.

During the day , and on the higher grass moor opposite, two Ravens had attracted my attention. Visible signs suggested they were an adult and a full grown youngster. Their behaviour almost suggested the youngster was being given one to one "tuition" in combing an area for invertebrates as the adult would search a given spot and then step back and watch as the youngster went through similar behaviour. Whether or not this was imagination on my part is difficult to say, and later reference to Derek Ratcliffe's superb monograph, "The Raven" sadly provided no corroboration. That they were adult and young was confirmed later by a close "fly past", with the adult showing obvious wing moult set against the typical more juvenile plumage of the other bird. I suspect that this behaviour pattern is gone through by many, if not all, birds but the challenge is actually coming across such intimate moments without disturbing the proceedings!!

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