29 Jun 2009

Back to reality..............

Two weeks after our return from South Africa and it seems an awfully long time ago as we hit the June birding doldrums. The excitement refinding the Royal Tern has faded as the Wirral sea watching crew spent two consecutive weekends searching optimistically, for either the Royal or Seaforth's possible Least Tern, off Hilbre and around the usual hot spots. Nothing. Not even a Med Gull to console us. Hilbre's sole highlight was a very sick loooking 2nd calender year Kittiwake that looked as it if was on its last legs. Even the Common & Sandwich terns were few and far between.
Plenty of activity in the garden though with our Robins rearing a second breed in a new nest above the porch. This meant I could take photo's through the open window as they used a nearby birch tree and the fence as a staging post.

Meanwhile the local pond has proved a safe haven for two more broods of residents.

Highlight of a very quiet birding weekend was a singing male Reed Bunting about 400 m from the house - a local rarity. A flyover Peregrine didn't hang around much and a pair of Ravens caused panic amongst the hirundines at the nearby farm. At least the warm weather has brought an abundance of wild flowers and both Bee Orhids and Spotted Orchids are flowering along the railway embankment.

Stanney Woods is also very quiet with only the regular woodland species present. Warbler numbers have crashed over the years with only the odd pair of Chiffchaff and Blackcap present. Still, a walk in the coolness of the woods is a welcome relief during the heat wave and the smell of the wild honey suckle is certainly an improvement on the aroma experienced every morning in our temporary S African abode!

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