Now that my spring offensive blog is shelved till next March I thought I'd share some of my Aldcliffe sightings from the past two days and inflict some midsummer pontifications on you all.
I don't know whether Jon would agree but I reckon the Aldcliffe warbler scene has been a bit odd this year. We've had Reed Warbler gains: two territories (about 500m apart) have been occupied all season and song still emanates in them to this day. Have they bred in previous years?
Blackcaps were numerous earlier in the season but seem in very short supply in recent weeks.
A Grasshopper Warbler was singing yesterday evening, in roughly the same spot as earlier in the year.
Chiffchaffs are common and still singing strongly with at least 4 males along the main drag today. However after a typical Willow Warbler arrival in April and May I haven't seen or heard one for four or five weeks.
Active Sedge Warbler territories include 1 at N end of wildfowler's pools and 1 or 2 at W end of Freeman's Pools.
Three recently fledged Lesser Whitethroats were seen today and 2 or 3 adult commons were in song too.
I saw two Lapwing chicks (from separate broods) today which is better than nothing after a worrying year. In other wader news an adult LRP was around today and a Greenshank was calling.
Signs of post-breeding dispersal and/or southbound movement comprised 3 Sand Martins knocking about yesterday, a further 8 southwest today and a Kingfisher at the Wildfowler's Pools.
Darter Pool was rammed with Blue-tailed Damselflies this afternoon (c500) and 2 Black-tailed Skimmers were on the wing for awhile. Emperors there seemed to comprise of 3 males and an ovipositing female (pictured).
I'm a little concerned that Darter Pool is not going to be around for too many more years ...with much willow encroachment and less open water yearly. Perhaps I should descend with a chainsaw one day...the farmer won't mind I'm sure!
DH (Whitethroat by J Bradley)