Sunday, 18 September 2016

Poor weekend of ring reading. Garden changes slowly and WeBS

There's a distinct lack of Swallow around now, a good dozen were camped on the telegraph line outside my house yesterday as they get ready to leave the UK. With a migration of over 9,000km weighing only 19g with a wingspan of 34 cm, it's a tough migration. Swallow do not build up fat reserves, feeding instead en-route. Soon the geese and thrushes will be arriving from the North and East.

A weekend of ring reading on the Hayle estuary and the local reservoir only produced 5 colour ringed birds, very disappointing. Herring Gull blue W:188 was viewed on the Hayle on Saturday having been ringed locally in St Ives. Sunday brought 3 more Herring Gull's on the Hayle, black 420 which I found and reported there a couple of weeks ago, one of Paul Veron's birds from Guernsey white 3CT1 and this little story - I picked up one of Mark Grantham's local gull's just as it entered the water. It came back out again only to be obscured by another Herring gull, I moved 10ft to the left, it went into the water again then I lost it completely when a Peregrine came in.... Blue W:020 was on Stithians reservoir this afternoon

Back in the garden and the camera trap picked up a Wood Mouse overnight during the week which was unfortunately found dead the next day. One of the neighbours cat's is suspected. Butterfly numbers have dropped well away and will surely only be recorded now for another week or two at the most.

Two hydrangeas that have "frustrating" me for a while now have been dug out, 6ft high trellis will be put up later in the year to grow "Rosa canina" (dog rose). I was going to put it next weekend but I think it can wait until I have a week off in December. That way I can save up and put trellis up the whole way round the garden as the cotoneaster is spreading quite nicely along the walls.

Below are the results for this week's Garden Birdwatch -

Compare the figures above to the ones below for the same period in 2013. The development of the garden as a wildlife garden is clearly evident but note the huge difference in Small Tortoiseshell numbers. This is probably due to the timing and longevity of buddleia flowers but better notes need to be kept to be certain.

A WeBS (Wetland Bird Survey) was also undertaken this morning. It's only a small lake set in woodland but coverage of lots of small lakes contribute to a much larger picture of British wildlife. It was particularly pleasing to see a Kingfisher and a Teal on the lake.

Below are the counts for each September during the 14 yrs the lake has been surveyed.

And now -

video footage of a visiting Badger below with a couple of stills beneath that.

The Cotoneaster is now becoming loaded with berries in many places 

 and the berries on my Pyracantha's are developing

and the berries on the Hypericum

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