|Showing the Royal Hotel Cottage Annexe, Burton In Kendal - Front Elevation (Click over to enlarge)|
"Active nest sites marked in Red"
New nest sites "Sunday 22nd May 2016 - Royal Hotel Cottage - Front Elevation, Burton In Kendal.
|A Sketch giving a summary of the 19th May Observations (Please click over the sketch to enlarge)|
Thursday 19th May 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 2000hrs to 2100hrs
It was a great pleasure to be having our very first Swift watch of the year and so pleasing to see how well it was attended.
We are this year covering new ground in so much that we are starting the observations a couple of weeks earlier than in past years. So we are not sure just what to expect.
We checked out all the regular sites calling off briefly at each. We struggled counting the very fragmented Swifts giving off their usual aerial displays and although some screaming was heard, there was very little of it. However we did manage to tally up seven birds in total.
Our first true confirmed nesting came from the rear annexe on the Royal Hotel Cottage where again they were using one of the long established sites. We first witnessed a bird leaving the hole and then shortly after we saw a bird return to the site and about five minutes later was fortunate to see a second bird attend the same nest site.
Moving on our next confirmed encounter was on the front of the Manor House where we where lucky enough to see a bird entering again a long established nest site.
This concluded our observations for the evening and we have planned to meet up again next Thursday at 2000hrs when all persons interested in watching the Swifts will be very welcome. Also please check out our Blogsite
NEXT SWIFT MEETING: THURSDAY 26th MAY 2016 - 2000hrs BURTON MEMORIAL HALL - EVERYBODY WELCOME
|A rare "Fived Leaved Herb Paris" (Click over photo to enlarge)|
Photo: David Benham - Lancelot Clark Storth on May 12th 2016
|Members of Arnside and District Natural History Society ready for a walk over Dalton, and Hutton Roof on 12th May 2016 (Click over photo to enlarge)|
|Rob Roy - left naturelle and right enhanced! - Click over to enlarge|
|White Early Purple Orchid - Lancelot Clark Storth (Cumbria Wildlife Reserve)|
Photo: Kindly contributed by Robert Ashworth (finder of the plant) 12th May 2016
Tuesday 10th May 2016 - Dalton Lane, Crowtrees, Nineteen Trees etc 0900hrs to 1030hrs
Main purpose was to see if the Redstart had returned to the North side of Harry's Wood, but never heard anything today. But did record a new Blackcap and also the resident Chiffchaff from within the Burial Ground. A new record for breeding Goldcrest, also across the road was watching a pair of Nuthatches going in and out of a small hole (2") in the centre of a large knot (12"diameter) in a very old 200 year plus tree. A new Chiffchaff recorded from near Rose Cottage. A new 200 plus population of Herb Paris from around Rose Cottage. Also showing lots of Garlic Mustard, Ramsons, Welsh Poppy etc.
Monday 9th May 2016 - Quarry Wood, Newclose and Majors Nursery - Dalton Hall Estate 1030hrs to 1200hrs
Went over the other side to check out the Common Redstart and was not disappointed, it looks like all the regulars have returned safety whilst the males are all busy singing away close to their respective territories. Looks like at first show at least four separate vocal birds. Also managed to record a further two singing Garden Warblers which is always so nice. A regular Blackcap also in song in the small planting just below the Water Meter Building. Also the missing Chiffchaff (reported last week) is now back and singing well. Common Lizard on the path between Newclose and Majors. Bluebells at Newclose very poor this year in comparison to most years.
Monday 9th May 2016 - Plain Quarry and Dalton Crags 0900hrs to 1030hrs
All Warblers singing away, looks like another good year especially for the Garden Warblers. Besides the Garden Warblers we also had the resident Blackcaps in fine voice "fettle" just to the side of Plain Quarry. Up through the Crags checking on the Parsley Piert now beginning to show on one of the old anthills. I do have this recorded in just a couple of places. It turns up here and there but does not spread very quickly. Then a close Siskin flew overhead which was obviously local and probably breeding somewhere in the Crags. Another massive hatch of St. Mark's Fly with thousands just at the spot where you leave Dalton Crags (lower) to go up into the deforested - its as though they especially love the edges of woodland.
Watching Cuckoo for ages, also coming back down heard another one calling from over near Crag House side. I wonder also if the Park Wood Cuckoo has returned yet? its regular we have three pairs on the Hutton Roof Complex.
Had my first Large White Butterflies (x3) today, also Speckled Woods showing again. Also the Tree Pipits was singing and displaying in lower Dalton (usual place), but still none showing in the main deforested areas where usually we will have up to 5 pairs (late chaps!). Again no Wheatear present!
|St. Marks Fly (Bibio marci) massive hatch 6th and 7th May 2016 (Click over to enlarge)|
Soon after leaving the car at Plain Quarry I was hearing both Blackcaps and Garden Warblers singing away and so nice to actually get them singing side by side. Also here had my first of the year Speckled Wood Butterfly, but did get another further along the journey at the top of Lancelot.
Next was a true bonus for the morning with a Common Redstart in full song at the top of the lower Dalton Crags quite near the tall conifererous trees. Watching him for a while and can't be absolute but do think there was a female closeby - lets hope he his marking territory with his fabulous song. Never had one at that spot before. Nearby was a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly. On entering Dalton deforested the Cuckoo was calling continous has I made my way up the track. Just at the point below the gulley, he actually came flying just above my head and heading South to the lower corner of Dalton, but what made things even more special is that I also noticed another Cuckoo though silent and presumed maybe the female crossing over at the same time somewhere over the gully and the Blackthorn, I'll bet those two had a agenda!! Brilliant to know we have got two of them back....
It doesn't stop there by any means, just a little further on past the gully on the right, guess what? both male and female Lesser Whitethroats were flitting around in a small hazel, at near the spot where they have been for the past few years to my knowledge. We are still waiting for the other pair which are usually somewhere around the "Line of Trees".
Leaving Dalton by the gate which goes up to the Common and the Trig Point, I was stopped in my tracks exactly at the gate by a beautiful sight of a little "Green Hairstreak Butterfly" which appeared to be extra tame, and for a moment my thoughts were immediately transported to some very special memories of a dear friend who has now passed, to which the little Green Hairstreak played such a important leading role!
Shortly on entering Lancelot I was greeted by a pair of the fabulous Tree Pipits calling and displaying as they do, also noticeable was my first Early Purple Orchids and Wood Sorrell and my first Tormentil.
Soon passing by a established Billberry site and looking out for Green Hairstreaks, but none on show just the earlier "special" one at the Gate to the Common!
Further down into Lancelot another pair of Tree Pipits both singing and displaying with such brilliance. I noticed again today large hatches of the St. Marks Fly at several points along my journey. And here I had a new Garden Warbler singing and marking its territory along with lots of surrounding Willow Warblers as well.
BAP Memorial seat approaching and time for a drink of water, I was tiring and it was so lovely and warm with just the slightest welcoming warm breeze occasionally coming through, I could just have sat on that bench and had forty winks, thats just how I felt, and now wishing I had!!
Down into the lower Lancelot areas passed the Cattle Crush at the Storth Pen and soon noticing a Garden Warbler had already set out its territory in the recent "Clearing area" and as though taking regular sanctuary in the line of waste trimmings which had been made into a "natural" hedge recently made by the foresters, its also great to see the Blackbirds have also made new homes in these hedges! I cannot confirm as yet whether this is a new Garden Warbler set down territory or one thats moved across some 100 yards. Also recorded a new to me population of "Herb Paris" with some 300 plus plants. Nearby entered new records of Blackcaps nesting and some special little birds The Goldcrest which were in one of the large nearby conifers.
Friday 6th May 2016 - Slape Lane Etc, Burton In Kendal 2 hours pm
Chiffchaff was singing as you started going along Slape Lane, somewhere to the rear of the big house. and then met another Chiffchaff singing at the Slape Lane crossroad where you can cut across to Clawthorpe or turn right to bring you back up on to Vicarage lane. Lots of Orange Tip Butterflies, My first of the year Green Veined White Butterflies. I thought the Bluebells were not doing well this year, but should listen to others who were saying that they were late this year! and right they where with a superb display in the nearby Woods (see photo) of both Bluesbells and Wood Anemones.
Thursday 5th May 2016 - Burton - Main Street 2000hrs
Local Swifts are now at a minimum of fourteen birds though could be more. Also click here if you want to check out the Burton Swift Bird Study Site.
Thursday 5th May 2016 - Canal Walk - Burton to Holme and return 1100hrs to 1230hrs
Straight away it was noticeable that there was a massive hatch of St. Marks Fly (Bibio marci) with hundreds seen at various places along the Canal. I have always nicknamed them the "poor mans Mayfly- with them having their dangling black legs. The Swallows were having a ball! Blackcap and Chiffchaffs at their regular haunt almost across from the old Station Pub (currently being demolished). Also a further Chiffchaff near the houses on the side of the Canal which lie to the East Side of the Mill in the bottom (another regular haunt). But did not have the Chiffchaff calling which is usually near to the Sheerness Bridge. Also as yet no Lesser Whitethroat near the Holme side. Also gave me chance to check out the area which holds Northern Greenland Wheatears on passage which is high above the Old Mill Lodge but on the other side of the Canal where there are horses in the field. None today
Wednesday 4th May 2016 - Burton - Main Street 1500hrs and then at 2000hrs
Swift arrivals now up to four birds by 1500hrs and a quick check at 2000hrs we are up to nine birds.
Wednesday 4th May 2016 - Milnthorpe Square 1100hrs to 1120hrs
Confirmed 6 Swifts hawking the skies high above the A6 at Milnthorpe, could have been another 3 or 4 as well. Also quite a good few House Martins as well.
Wednesday 4th May 2016 - Plain Quarry and Dalton Crags 0900hrs to 1030hrs
What a difference a day can make! it was really quiet going up and cold with the strong South Westerly winds, however when the sun appeared and the winds died down it was lovely. The Cuckoo was singing on the Common close to the boundary wall. Just the one Wheatear on the wall adjoining the side to Crag House Side upper corner. Still no Tree Pipits heard in the top of Dalton Crags. Then has I entered the lower Dalton Crags it became a different story altogether, wind had died and it was lovely and what made it even more special was to see and hear and able to watch for ages a displaying Tree Pipit calling has it manouvered from a high tree to a lower tree. And then as if that was not enough I was treated with a fresh arrival pair of Garden Warblers in song and on territory close to the escarpment. Then further across and just about Plain Quarry I was treated to another singing Garden Warbler in the company with two singing Blackcaps. A brilliant morning.....
Tuesday 3rd May 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal 1845hrs
"First Swift of the Year"
Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 2016
I nearly forgot to mention, that on Friday last I was parked up and two Chiffchaffs were very busy flitting about in a nearby Rhodedendrum bush and I was probably only some 4 yards away from them when I heard a contact call between them which I have never heard before. It was a very soft "tuc" "tuc" call. I can imagine if you had have been any further away in distance you would not have even heard the call. I have only ever known of the regular "hou-whit" contact call (sang slightly sharper than the Willow Warbler's hou whit call). Brilliant stuff now I can add the "tuc" call to my notes!
Saturday 30th April 2016 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof
|Willow Warbler "Singing in the Snow" (Click over to enlarge)|
Started off with 50% blue skies, but rapidly turned to what looked very much like December time clouds and white with dark. A frost was on the car screen this morning peppered with a sprinkling of snow.
Checked out all the usual areas and again no Cuckoo, no territorial Tree Pipits, although saying that I did have what I consider a Tree Pipit far away to the South over on Crag House Side. So can now only presume the Cuckoo was a bird moving through bird, because after numerous checks no one has recorded seeing it since last Saturdays sighting.
Also it looks very much like the two/four Wheatear have moved on - again no sightings this morning. Archie the Chiffchaff was singing from "The Cottage" which is on the Main Street directly opposite the Burton School.
Tuesday 26th April 2016 0900hrs to 1030hrs Majors Nursery Area - Dalton Hall Estate
Had a new Garden Warbler singing in the large conifers which lie just below the "Water Meter House". I checked over near Newclose and Majors Nursery but still no Redstarts or for that matter Tree Pipits although I did have plenty of Willow Warblers in song but the Chiffchaff at the side of Newclose still seems to be missing. It was very cold this morning especially in the open areas which bade no shelter and maybe this had something to do with it, but I will be checking this area again very soon!
Just for the record its been a super year so far for the Celandine and now the Gorse! but its so far proving to be a terrible year for the Bluebells with very few showing...
Monday 25th April 2016 0930hrs onwards Robert Ashworth (Kendal) kindly reported:
"Three plovers flying north over trig point area seen from just below wall at top of deforested. Appeared to be Dotterel but limited view means I could not pick up all diagnostic features. Searched common but no further sign".
Monday 25th April 2016 - Plain Quarry and Dalton Crags (0915hrs to 1030hrs)
No signs of Cuckoo today, had Wheatear yet again at top right hand corner of upper Crags and also down at Gulley end. No Garden Warblers calling today.
Sunday 24th April 2016 - Dalton Park Wood (1400hrs to 1600hrs)
Had about 12 Willow Warblers in Song, 3 Chiffchaffs and one Blackcap
|(Click over sketch to enlarge)|
Saturday 23rd April 2016 - Plain Quarry and Dalton Crags (0730hrs to 0930hrs)
A superb morning the sun was shining and warming up nicely.
For me it started out in search of the Wheatears, and nothing has changed I had a pair up by the top right corner of Dalton Crags and another pair close to the bottom of the Gully.
Then on my way back down, I was quickly stopped in my tracks having just heard the single syllabel "Cuck" coming from the line of Trees which was only maybe 30 yards in front of me. Sure enough there was a returning Cuckoo which had just come in this very morning and was already being mobbed by a Mistle Thrush and three Meadow Pipits, which soon gave up their bombardments. I got more good close ups has the bird moved across the "Line of Trees". Without doubt for me this is the earliest I have ever known a Cuckoo return on Dalton. Although I was on the ready because a couple of days ago I was informed by Wal that he had a returning Cuckoo up at Crook on Tuesday last (19th April 2016).
It does not stop there it gets even better. Because on my way back down and close to Plain Quarry, two Garden Warblers came in the tree above me flitting from one branch to the other. One of the birds actually broke out into song. I was watching them for over ten minutes. I guess they are just slightly earlier than usual by a couple of days.
On reaching the village and walking out to the Post Office, I noticed a pair of House Martins flying over Hollowrayne/Tanpits Lane area and obviously back on territory. Again only arrived this morning.
There must have been a hard fall last night with the Garden Warblers, I had one in full song whilst mooching around in the blossom at the property called the Orchard which is directly across from the Burton School.