18 May 2012

Bridge 139

137, 138,

Not steps but bridge numbers on the Shropshire Union canal. Following a tip off from Roger W about a Spotted Flycatcher hanging around by Bridge 139 and it being a nice sunny evening I set off from Stoak and headed along the towpath towards Ellesmere Port. A good selection of summer visitors were seen along the way but not in huge numbers. A couple of Sedge Warblers sang from canal side ditches and a handful of Common Whitethroats sang from the thicker hedgerows.  Sallows, Martins and Swifts hawked for insects over the canal.
Bridge 137

The towpath provides a good view over the Gowy water meadows and on such a still sunny evening I was hoping for a Hobby or flyover Osprey. No luck but it was good to see quite a few pairs of Lapwings displaying over the fields.

A loitering Buzzard was getting grief from a male Blackbird carrying food but resolutely ignored the smaller bird being keener on keeping its eye on me.

.......Bridge 139. The first bird heard was a Lesser Whitethroat rattling away in the hedge but after about 20 minutes a Spotted Flycatcher appeared fly-catching from the top of a dead tree on the opposite side of the canal!

Mission completed I set off back as the sun was setting and the air getting decidedly cooler to be treated by a spectacular fly past from the Buzzard.

A trip down to ring some young birds in nest boxes on Barry's private site in Puddington resulted in great views of at least three pairs of Yellow Wagtails Six of the eighteen boxes put up were occupied and three broods of Great Tit and Blue Tit's were ringed. The Blue Tit broods were impressive with ten and eleven chicks. This seems to buck the general trend that broods are small and survival rates low this year.

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