Sunday, 6 July 2008

Green sandpipers & hobby

Hobby update

Went to test my theory (see earlier posting below) at around 8.20pm...
Had a good root about trying to determine where the bulk of the hirundines were feeding, which was the Wildfowlers' Pools but they soon went off to roost leaving just a couple of swallows and 50+ swift in the area.
I went to the raised part of the path near Freeman's Wood for an all-round view and came across Steve Wallis who had also decided to give it a go.
We spent quite some time with no luck, though did determine that the local kestrels have now, in fact, 3 fledged young. Otherwise the female shoveler and 2 LRPs were on Freeman's Pools along with a pair of newly arrived mute swans.
At approximately 9.37pm I noticed something out the corner of my eye which was pretty immediately clearly the hobby having just caught a swift! It then proceeded to land on the new flood defence bund some 200 metres in front of us where it spent 20 minutes eating the unfortunate bird. We obviously had stunning views! Once finished eating, the hobby flew off into the wood, pursued by a magpie. How long has this bird been around?

A lengthy trawl around this morning proved reasonably fruitful.
Freeman's Pools were pretty quiet with nothing new in and just a fraction of the regular stuff.
The Wildfowlers' Pools were more productive with 2 green sandpipers, 2 common sandpipers and at least 5 little ringed plover present (4 ads, 1 juv). Later, single green sandpipers were also flushed from The Flood and seen on Frog Pond though I'm pretty certain these were the same bird and indeed one of the earlier ones from the WPs.
5 raven were chowing down on the pungent carcass of a sheep on Aldcliffe Marsh - these were presumably the adults and young of the nearby, first-time, nesting attempt.
Just as I was about to call it a day a hobby flew low over Freeman's Pools in the direction of Abraham Heights. Presumably the same bird I saw last Saturday (appears to be an adult), we may be missing a trick here if it is roosting in and hunting from the wood - an evening vigil may well pay off. Unfortunately there have been so few sunny days lately that it won't be finding much in the way of dragonflies to eat and will presumably be targeting hirundines etc.
Whitethroat seem to have had a particularly productive breeding season with yet more broods seen today.

No comments: