Saturday, September 4, 2010

A cameo of birdlife! 3.9.2010.

Another pleasant sunny day, although with a SE breeze. Following the survey of Grey lag Geese, and with all results now in, I can finally say with some confidence that we have seen the increase which was anticipated. But more later!!

On a day when not much seemed to have changed, or be happening at all, I mused over the current situation to be seen here at the moment as far as bird numbers are concerned. Many species seem to have had a successful breeding season (with the exception of waders about which I've little first hand evidence). The numbers of common species like Linnet, Twite, Goldfinch, Lesser Redpoll,Siskin, Meadow Pipit and Skylark are really noticeable with field margins and hederows alive with birds. Flocks of Common Starling scour the newly cut fields and corvids, particularly Jackdaw , appear to have enjoyed a productive season. The numbers of Willow Warbler have now diminished, but their presence whilst on passage recently suggested they too had experienced a good season which, by implication , one imagines likewise for other similar species like Common Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler.This might equally apply to Northern Wheatear too. A simple pleasure can be taken from the number of House Sparrows now evident. We have a buoyant population, contrasted against many places on the mainland , and whirring flocks of birds exploding from hedgerows close to many of our villages is a sight I remind myself I've not seen in many recent years!!!

Whilst titmice, and even Goldcrest and Stonechat, appear to have recovered from the ravages of last winter I'm still not coming across the numbers of Wrens I might expect to see at this stage, which is strange. How our "flagship" species like Chough and Corncrake have fared is not yet known, but a species I continue to worry about is Arctic Tern, whose recent fortunes in successive breeding seasons appears poor.

Whilst many of these impressions are subjective, and local of course, they reflect a picture of a local countryside with a greater mosaic of variety and less intensity of use than many areas of the mainland. As a salvation, long may it continue!!

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