Monday, 13 May 2013

Cuckoo Time and lastest blog stuff from Monday May 13th 2013 onwards

Tree Pipits will soon be doing this!
Saturday May 18th 2013 (Burton In Kendal)
0615hrs-0745hrs (Wind: 12-14mph NW)
Today was rather murky weather with continuous light rain showers.

Really great to hear the birds singing at their best, its obvious that since Thursday its been all change with the birds, they are now getting their "tummies" full again and are happy and not subdued, resulting in their joyous serenades, just like it always used to be but perhaps, a lot later coming this year, but thankfully the trees are green again and the insects are all about.

Straight away Chiffchaff "Archie" was singing from around the Memorial Hall, "Mo" was singing from within Hordley House gardens, "Lee" was singing from Thornleigh, and "Thorpy" today calling from around the Farleton Rise area in Clawthorpe.  A few Swallows noted at the usual spots, but still under at Russell Farm, with maybe up to about 7 birds (usual years 15/17 pairs).

Friday May 17th 2013 (Burton In Kendal)  
0600hrs-0700hrs (Wind: 10mph ENE)

Still those winds! however after saying that this morning felt good with plenty of blue skies and the sun breaking out. I suppose you could say it was a "proper Spring morning".  The Robins, Dunnocks, Wrens and Thrushes could be heard singing away.  And at long last the skies showed plenty of activity from local Swifts, Swallows and Martins.

Now I have a dilemma! I heard a Chiffchaff singing from the Old Vicarage which is usually the place where "Vicar" sings from, so left wondering if it was Vicar and he has eventually arrived but very late (which I doubt very much), or what I think has probably happened here! and that "Archie" or his partner from across the road at Orchard Close has moved over to the Vicarage, but we shall see.  I have known Archie to go across the road now and again to sing from the blossom trees at the front of the Burton School. So why not extend his territory as far as the old vicarage. Know doubt time will tell.

At least 3 Swifts were flying high over Burton this morning and guess there would have been more in and around Burton. Swallows busy at Green Dragon Farm and a relief to see at least three pairs minimum, with probably far more at Russell Farm and also increased numbers at Oakwood Farm in Clawthorpe. Also  noted were singing Blackcap from both Hordley and  the top of Thornleigh.

It really is a special treat to see these birds back with us, and not only that "they have brought the lovely weather today with them" and I can hear them high above joyfully singing and in a very happy mood, as they catch their many flies.

0900hrs-1115hrs (Wind: 7mph ENE) Plain Quarry to Trig and return.

Chiffchaff "Craig" calling at Plain Quarry, along with two singing Blackcaps. Also heard another Blackcap on approach near to Junction with Nineteen Trees.
Got a exceptional close up views of two Tree Pipits whilst on the ground just at the bottom of the lower Crags.  It was clear to see far more detail of the plumage, especially the 1/4" area along the full length of the primary flanks which is of a dull cream/yellow colour and stands apart, and also a clear view of the pinky/reddy legs which is a far stronger colour than the pinky legs of the Meadow Pipit.  Also pairs of Tree Pipits in upper Dalton, in the usual places, bottom, gulley and top in line with shrike tree.  All birds singing today and displaying as well.
Cuckoo seen at the very top of Dalton (upper) and calling properly today and very regular with full song. After watching for maybe ten minutes the Cuckoo then left Dalton and flew North over the Boundary wall on to the Common.

1400hrs-1630hrs (Wind: 10mph N) Slape Lane and Nearbye Woodlands.
Found and logged over 23 small colonies of "Herb Paris" in woodland at corner of Slape Lane and bordering the wall to Lancelot Clark Storth.  Also heard "Clarky" the Chiffchaff and a couple of Blackcap calling from Lancelot.

Thursday May 16th 2013 (Burton In Kendal) "Swifts have arrived"
0600hrs-0700hrs (Wind: 7mph Easterly)

Intermittent light rain showers, with lovely sunshine and rainbows, combined at times with dark mischievious clouds. Wind dropped today (nice change!)
Only Chiffchaff on the rounds this morning was "Mo", and little in the way of hirundines once again, still only one pair of Swallows returned to Russell Farm, Dalton.  Where on earth are the other regular sixteen breeding pairs? and where can the village Swifts have got to.

0820hrs (Wind: 7mph SS East)   
Only just arrived, certainly not in at 0600hrs. A pair of Swifts hawking over village, first seen going over Church to North, then seen shortly after heading over Station Road and then over the Motorway in a SW.  So I am hoping that these may be the village Swifts returning!  we will see......

1000hrs (Wind: 6mph SSE)
Swifts still hawking high over village.

1105hrs (Wind: 8mph SE)
2 Swifts if not 3 are currently hawking in large circles over St. James Church Burton.

1200hrs (Wind: 6mph SSE)
Now a minimum of 5 birds hawking over the Village.  (1210hrs) Also can confirm a bird coming from down the side of the old Royal Pub at eaves level on the North East Side, and then on to Main Street, probably its been checking out its old nesting site.

On the way down to Heysham noticed Swallows everywhere.  It could well be a good indication that many birds have arrived today.

Wednesday May 15th 2013 (Burton In Kendal)
0615hrs-0715hrs (Wind: 15mph Northerly)

Continuing light rain throughout.  "Mo" the Chiffchaff heard at Burton House, but no signs of any hirundines throughout.
Realiably informed this morning that two Cuckoos have been seen this morning in the Dalton Crags (upper). area

Tuesday May 14th 2013 (Burton In Kendal)
0600hrs-0700hrs (Wind: 22mph WSW)
Heavy intermittent rain showers, blue skies with dark cloud, odd hail showers as well.
Good to hear "Archie" the Chiffchaff singing from somewhere behind Orchard Close.  Also had "Lee" singing from his usual spot at Thornleigh.

Still only a couple of Swallows to report at Russell Farm.  Its quite obvious now also that the Burton Swifts have not returned as yet.  The odd bird I did see earlier must also have been a "mover" and I have not seen any birds since. This late arrival is also being reported from other parts of the Country as I write.

Beautiful Rock Formations at Dalton (upper) "The Seven Steps"
0900hrs-1100hrs (Wind: 17/18 WSW) (Dalton (upper) Limestone Shelves)
Spent a couple of hours with a friend checking out the beautiful limestone rock formations with its many  grykes and clints in the upper Dalton area, to help us refer and recognise in the future we have for our benefit aptly named the small area "The Seven Steps" of which there maybe up to seven stepped shelves more or less formed below and to the West of the "Line of Trees". It was also nice to see such rare flora such as Angular Solomon's Seal and Lily Of The Valley (not yet fully out), also odd scattered examples of Early Purple Orchids.

Monday May 13th 2013
0600hrs - 0700hrs (Wind: 25mph Westerley)
"Lee" the Chiffchaff singing at Thornleigh.  Just a few hirundines busy hawking over tanpits (both Swallows and House Martins).  At Russell Farm, still only one/two pairs of Swallows back on territory, which is not many when you consider they normally have at least 17 pairs.

0845hrs- 1045hrs (Wind: 25mph Westerley)  "Henry - Chiffchaff" safe and well..

Large "Herb Paris" colony

A showery morning with very heavy intermittent showers at times with "hailstones" (hailstones in May!!)
Did manage to survey a (new to me) woodland closeby in Dalton.  It was great to re-discover "Henry" the chiffchaff which was briefly calling for a couple of minutes. He had previously eluded me so far this year, although I had only listened for him whilst driving past with the window down, but had actually considered him to be one of the birds that had not returned (so hurrah, hurrah, hurrah to Henry).
Whilst in the woodland I just could not believe how rich the floor was with 8 separate colonies of "Herb Paris" which were about 3/4 grown, just making it perhaps a little behind schedule (1-2 weeks). Some of the fabulous colonies were of 30 metre and 20 metre circumference, certainly the largest colonies I have ever seen, the forest floor in most parts was smothered with the usual "Dogs Mercury", but here and there, 3/4 growth Ramsons could be seen, and occasional Wood Sorrell, Herb Robert, Lords and Ladies and Dog Violets.
It was of great interest to me also to be able to record two separate territorial Willow Warblers within the Woodland along with Great Spotted Woodpecker and Goldcrest.
"Bluebell Wood"

I continued my walk in a South West to check out another Woodland which has the most fabulous floor coverage of Bluebells, but perhaps I have come about two weeks early to see them at their very best, but even today they are such a spectacular view. (see photo right)