Sunday, 18 May 2014

Box End Park WeBS: 18/05/2014

An early start for my WeBS count this morning to beat the tri-athletes who were arriving as I left at just after 6:30!

The Black Swan seems to have relocated to here from Bedford embankment and made it's way onto my WeBS list for this site for the first time. The Mute Swans that were nesting on the island now have 8 cygnets and, although I thought they had nested elsewhere, the Oycs were here with one youngster. I'm trying to find out how soon Oycs are able to fly as the youngster was in feather but with some down still evident. It's possible I missed the nest if it was in some of the thicker vegetation but I thought they were nesting over the road.

The Common Terns have increased in numbers with my best count of 17 this morning. Some are sitting with one sitting very tight and a couple of others a bit more flighty but returning to possible nests.

A Common Buzzard was also seen again this morning, I'm wondering if there are 2 pairs in the area based on recent sightings.

Good numbers of developed Mallard broods here, quite different to the experience at Priory CP where we have had excellent numbers of broods but very few seem to be making it past the early days of life.

Here's the WeBS list:

Black Swan 1  
Buzzard 1  
Canada Goose 4  
Common Tern 17 At least 3 possible nests with birds sitting.
Coot 8 Includes 2 on nests
Grey Heron 2  
Mallard 28 6 broods of 3,5,4,3,5 and 4 ducklings.
Mute Swan 6 1 with a brood of 8 cygnets and 1 still on a nest.
Oystercatcher 3 Family party including a single juvenile.
Pied/White Wagtail 5 Family party including 3 juveniles. Rarer species
Skylark 3   Rarer species
Total number of species: 11 Individuals: 78

Other birds of note:

Reed Bunting 1
Sedge Warbler 1
Whitethroat 2
Blackcap 6
Sand Martin 1
Reed Warbler 2
Garden Warbler 1
Chiffchaff 1
Treecreeper 1

No sign of Swallows from the nearby stables or House Martins from Great Denham, maybe they were still in bed!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Local patch update

It's been a while since I reported from my local patch along the Great Ouse at Kempston Mill and Biddenham Loop so here's a quick update. The Barn Owls are back in the Ash Tree again this year and I suspect they have chicks as JA saw 3 voles being taken back to the nest hole in a short period the other evening. 

Barn Owl
The "Bedford" Black Swan seems to have relocated to Box End Park and on recent visit to Biddenham Loop I grabbed this shot as it flew past with some Mute Swans.

Black Swan
No sign of any Otters recently which is very disappointing. I was hoping the resident female may have had cubs again this year but I haven't seen any sign of her let alone cubs.

At the weekend there was a Fox at Box End Park and another on the same side of the river a little further upstream.

There are plenty of Summer Migrants in now with Sedge Warblers in good numbers along the Back Channel along with a couple of Reed Warblers. A few Willow Warblers can be heard around Biddenham Loop CP and a Lesser Whitethroat can also be heard along the hedge line here. Common Whitethroats are also in good numbers now and we even had a Garden Warbler at BLCP which haven't been easy to find in recent years in this area. Chiffchaffs are in their regular haunts although quietening down now.

This morning the Sedge Warblers were showing particularly well along the Back Channel.

Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler