Sunday, 9 June 2013

Flaming June

The good weather of the last week is continuing, although it was rather cold and cloudy first thing. I arrived at Netherstead Farm to be greeted by the sound, and sight, of a singing Cuckoo along the ridge of Clouse Wood. The reedbed still contained a couple of singing Reed Warblers while at least two Sedge Warblers were active in the surrounding hedgerows. I bumped into John Y, and we walked back to scope the Cuckoo, which was still there.

John hadn't seen anything better than a Teal, so we were both pleasantly surprised at the pool to find that the first Little Grebe of the year had arrived. I took a quick record shot, and wasn't surprised to find it had disappeared into the vegetation when we got a bit closer.

Little Grebe
At the flashes we saw two well grown Lapwing chicks, a Little Ringed Plover, a white Mallard which had us guessing until it put its head up, and the first returning Teal of the autumn.

Drake Teal
At this point John departed, and I continued alone. As the morning warmed up I started to tally up a few insects; several Azure Damselflies, a Common Blue Damselfly, and a Small Copper were the best of the bunch. I also took a few shots of the local breeding birds.

A Coot on its nest at the dragonfly pools
Pied Wagtail on algae (not snow!)
Finally, an alarm call among the hirundines alerted me to my second year-tick of the day, as a Sand Martin flew over the dragonfly pools and away to the south. I was expecting to get this species in spring, but its not guaranteed, so I was glad I won't be having to rely on the uncertainty of trying to see one on autumn passage.

Other notable June records were the continuing presence of a singing Willow Warbler (often just a passage migrant here), 37 Canada Geese and a Cormorant over, and 23 Swifts catching insects over the farm.

I've had worse June days.

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