Sunday, 25 July 2010

Hobby at Brockholes, Lancashire

July 24, 2010:
Occasionally, over the last few weeks, a Hobby has been seen near the Brockholes Wetland Reserve close to the River Ribble. Recently, on a daily basis, one bird has favoured an area at the southern end of the Reserve close to the M6 motorway where it watches for prey from perches high on the tall motorway lamp-posts.

From there it makes swift forays, especially for dragonflies, which it either dismembers and consumes on the wing or takes back to a perch on a lamp-post.

It is a juvenile showing rust-coloured undersides rather than the deeper red of the full adult and is thought to be a second-year bird. This area must be a good hunting ground for Hobbys as today it was joined by a second bird which hunted on the opposite side of the motorway. People interested in the Reserve’s dragonflies have noticed a sharp decline in numbers recently!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Peregrines in northern England (Part 2): a success story and aerial display

July 19, 2010:

(One of the chicks on June 10)

Slightly over five weeks ago the two young Peregrines at this site were mere helpless nest-bound chicks hiding amongst the flowers on their cliff-face. Things have now moved on rapidly so that today, in one of the few brief spells of sunshine, both juveniles were airborne practising their flying skills with their parents in close attendance. For over five minutes all four birds gave an impressive aerial display before the parents led the juveniles away, presumably for further tuition, perhaps this time in hunting.

A rather worn and weary parent circled close by presumably approving of their aerobatics.

It was both encouraging and a relief to know that these birds have nested succesfully and not suffered the fate of others not too far away whose nests were raided by collectors.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Reed Buntings, Brockholes, Lancashire

June 2010:
Birdwise, things seem rather quite at the moment with many birds nesting or feeding young and the migrants yet to come. At Brockholes the reed beds surrounding the main lake hold several pairs of nesting Reed Buntings. One female, when taking a break from maternal duties, decided to perch obligingly close, although a male was more reticent.