JUNE 2011 BIRD NOTES
June Highlights: Black-throated Diver, Little Egret, Common Scoter and Osprey.
Last month’s first summer Black-throated Diver was last seen on 12th, it obviously moved on despite being into its moult. A Little Egret was seen in flight on 22nd, then landed at Paul Stanley Hide, and was still on site near the Wildlife Centre (WLC) on 30th. Great Crested Grebe had 3 broods by the end of the month, each with 1 young and a Mute Swan pair have 6 cygnets, usually seen being displayed to the WLC. Barnacle Geese have again failed breeding and the birds have left site. Mallard added 8 broods this month, taking the total to 17 broods this year, well above an average year. The first Tufted Duck brood appeared at Sheepwash on 25th and another on 29th, although the latter brood seemed parentless at the time of observation. Moorhen showed 2 broods by 11th and Coot 3 broods by 15th, which is low compared with the past few years. Notable counts included 47 Great Crested Grebe on 15th, 7 Heron on 29th, 343 Canada Geese on 20th, a hybrid drake Shelduck/Mallard cross from 20th, a drake Wigeon on 7th, 3 Teal on 29th, 98 Mallard on 15th, a drake Pintail from 3rd to 7th, a pair of Red-crested Pochard from last month to 7th, 2 drake Pochard from 1st to 8th and 171 Tufted Duck and 142 Coot on 15th. Five drake Common Scoter flew in early on 29th and were joined briefly by 2 others in the afternoon.
Raptor records included a Sparrowhawk carrying prey on 11th and on several subsequent days, all into the same woodland area. A Common Buzzard was causing chaos with the breeding Black-headed Gulls and Common Tern on Flat Island on 21st and 5 Buzzard were in the air on 8th and 16th. An Osprey flew southwest over the dam wall at 0828hrs on 1st and a Peregrine was seen on 15th, 22nd and 27th.
Wader breeding so far this year is; only 2 Oystercatcher broods and another pair still sitting, at least 6 broods of Lapwing, which is better than recent years, and 3 broods of Redshank. Other waders recorded include a Ringed Plover on Stones Island on 30th, a Sanderling on Sheepwash Spit on 9th, 9 Dunlin at Sheepwash on 16th, 18 Black-tailed Godwit at the WLC on 28th and another 13 on 30th and 2 Curlew and 2 Common Sandpiper on 29th.
Black-headed Gull nests at the WLC were 7 on the tern raft and at least 3 on HorseshoeIsland. On 29th, 19 chicks were noted in broods of 3+2+2 on the raft and 4+3+2+2 on the island, many of these were from the raft. Three nests at Sheepwash had failed on 1st, most likely by fox predation. The number of nests on Flat Island is not known, but young at one nest could be seen on 15th and 61 Black-headed Gulls roosted there on 3rd. Lesser Black-backed Gull numbers are beginning to build up towards the end of the day, with 10 on 20th and 120 on 29th. A second summer Yellow-legged Gull was on Horseshoe Island on 29th. The pair of Common Terns breeding on Flat Island had probably failed by 20th.
A Collared Dove nest in the Visitor Centre car park had 2 big young in it on 5th and cars parked within feet of it on two sides. A Barn Owl was around Sheepwash on 25th, 200 Swift went through on 5th, a Kingfisher was at Millfields on 16th and 23rd and a Green Woodpecker at Millfields on 13th. Three pairs of Swallow are breeding in the Millfields area and there are 18 House Martin nests around the Visitor Centre. A Grey Wagtail family were on Stones Island on 20th, a Redstart family in WLC Creek also on 20th, a Sedge Warbler singing in the WLC reeds from 7-29th, a pair of Reed Warbler feeding a nest in Hopton Arm reedbed on 26th, a Lesser Whitethroat family in WLC Creek on 30th, 4 Whitethroat pairs reported breeding, 3 Willow tit families noted, the local Raven pair with 2 juveniles successfully in the air on 11th, 6 Raven flew over on 29th and 11 active/used House Sparrow nests were found around the Visitor Centre on 1st.
95 Species this month compared with 87 in June 2010, 93 in 2009, 91 in 2008, 93 in 2007 and 89 in 2006.