Saturday morning 28th May 2016 and Sunday morning 29th May 2016 - all morning on both days
|A sketch I have just done recently for Rob at Sizergh "Hawfinches threatening Strike action" (Click over to enlarge)|
|This is a diary sketch relating to our Swift Watch on Thursday May 26th 2016 (Please click over to enlarge)|
"POOR SWIFT UPDATE" Friday 27th May 2016 - 1000hrs - Care of Kendal College Wildlife Dept
I have just received word from David Craig who has just been in touch with the Kendal College and we are informed that the "poor swift" died during last night.
The above photos represent the status of all the ten nest sites we have so far recorded being used during most recent observations (Other year dates represent the nest histories) - Click over photo to enlarge.
From the word go, there were very few birds about and at first we could only log about 5 in the sky at any one time, however on our way back Reg and I did eventually manage to tally 7 which were over the Neddy Hill area. We think it was down to purely a lack of insects on the night, although obviously a few birds were still local.
Our first Swift experience of the evening was noted from the Royal Hotel Cottage front elevation where Reg noted 3 more sites which are all long established but new for this years records. This now brings the number of sites so far recorded on this particular building to five nesting areas.
Our next positive came whilst observing the Manor House when we were fortunate to see birds entering two more sites, one on the gable end (near 2nd purling up from the front corner) and the other one was close to the front left hand corner. Again these two sites are long established but are new for this years records.
This concluded our observations and we agreed to meet up again next Thursday 2nd June at 2000hrs at the Burton Memorial Hall.
Thursday 26th May 2016 - High above Clawthorpe Hall, Burton 1300hrs approx
Two Swifts hawking the skies above Clawthorpe Hall today.
|Scavenged Song Thrush egg on the side of Ploverlands, Hutton Roof 24th May 2016 (Click over to enlarge)|
Poor Song Thrushes and Blackbirds in particular secumb to this sort of thing on a very regular basis, I am seeing it all the time on my local travels.
On a regular yearly basis and at one place in particular within Lancelot Clark Storth (Cumbria Wildlife Reserve), I have had as many as up to fifteen scavenged eggs, usually placed carefully together in one of the deep muddy Land Rover wheel tracks whilst going along the forest track. Why do they keep putting them there in this same place year after year, there must be several clutches of eggs here and its always the Blackbird or the Song Thrush.
I always suspected the Grey Squirrel for all this, but maybe I was jumping to conclusions! I have asked a couple of keepers and they say that without doubt it will be the work of the corvid. I guess I would go along with that because we certainly have plenty of them.
Below is a photo I used for another purpose only yesterday which has prompted me to hit this subject and it shows just what I find on a regular basis. In fact I do have better photos when I can lay my hands on them.
|A mixture of Song Thrush and Blackbird scavenged eggs layed within a forestry track (Click over to enlarge)|
MY COPY FOR THE VILLAGE NEWSLETTER "BURTON NEWS" - JUNE ISSUE
"POOR SWIFT UPDATE" Wednesday 25th May 2016 - Care of Kendal College Wildlife Dept
1000hrs David has just let me know that the College have decided they are keeping the bird to at least Friday am, because the birds current weight is showing at 36 grms and that it should be between 43-45 grms and they think it would be to the birds benefit to gain some extra weight before release, and they say a couple more days of feeding should help it. It is currently taking in "Waxworms" and water with no problem. (next update Friday)
"POOR SWIFT UPDATE" Tuesday 24th May 2016 - Care of Kendal College Wildlife Dept
1600hrs David has received word from the College stating the bird is progressing well and is eating "waxworms" without problem, although its weight is only 36grms where it should be 44 grms, so they are keeping it there again for another night before hopefully handing over tomorrow morning.
1200hrs David rang the College this morning and they said the bird had eaten 4 waxworms and taking in water OK. They said they had one further test to check in regard to a flight test and that the vet would be doing the rounds early afternoon. Then all being well the bird should be released for us to hopefully set free close to the area of finding. Can't Wait!
|Photos of three of the Hutton Roof Fly Orchids I had today (Click over to enlarge)|
0900hrs to 1200hrs Today was very special right from the word go, I left Plain Quarry and headed up the footpath and just at the point of where you go through the opening within the limestone escarpment it sort of entered the world of a fabulous Nine O'Clock bird chorus which included Blackbird, Garden Warblers, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers all singing their little hearts out to see which could sing the loudest! Wow it was just fantastic and so clear and so loud, even the grass below you was "sparkling" in the deliver of the morning sun has it hit the "morning dew" which covered everything.
It came as a very pleasant shock to note the missing Tree Pipits had all arrived back and were singing from points within the upper deforested Crags (at least 3 in the Crags) and Skylarks chasing one another and putting on fighting displays! even more Tree Pipits (another 3 calling birds), as I entered the Common and took my path through the Ploverlands, I wonder if this is where they have been hiding all the time!
Still lots of St Marks Fly about, also had my first two of the year Small Heath Butterflies and a lovely Dinghy Skipper which allowed me close access for a photoshot! again here it seemed like a bird singing contest and I even made out a nearby Goldcrest giving its high pitched flurries.
On my way back down its was great to hear one of the paired Lesser Whitethroats singing away just at a point higher up from the Gully and within Dalton Crags (upper deforested). Nearby I also saw a crazy "Speckled Yellow" Moth, chasing everywhere at top speed.
It was also great this morning to have been able to locate my first three of the year "Fly Orchids" (Photo shown above). Thanks Barry for giving me the heads up on these.
Tuesday 24th May 2016 - Hutton Roof Areas - Fly Orchids
0700hrs - Notes come in from Barry (from yesterday 23rd May) that he found 2 Dinghy Skipper butterflies in the Plain Quarry area of Dalton. He also had a Speckled Yellow over near Ploverlands.
Also he recorded 7 Fly Orchids from a new area on Hutton Roof which 4 plants were in flower with more to come, 2 plants in bud, and one plant had been chewed off.
Monday 23rd May 2016 - Area across from Manor House and just behind Kings, Main Street, Burton In Kendal.
1000hrs - Counted and confirmed a minimum of 20 Swifts in the air together and there could well have been many more.
"POOR SWIFT UPDATE" Monday 23rd May 2016 - Care of Kendal College Wildlife Dept
1730hrs Swift has been checked out thoroughly and thankfully showing no bone fractures or any other problems, so the College Wildlife Department are keeping it overnight before hopefully handing it back for us to release back in Burton. More update tomorrow.
1200hrs Swift has been taken by David across to Kendal College (Wildlife Dept) where they are keeping it until a vet checks it over this afternoon and hopefully will give it a skeleton x-ray. If all is OK it will be handed back later this afternoon for release back in Burton. If there are more severe problems eg: with its skeleton of which there are fractures, they have already advised it will be better to put the bird to sleep. So for now we are all sat with fingers crossed and praying that it will be OK. Will report back later.
1000hrs Swift still doing well and gladly taking in small amounts of water this morning. Hopefully we intend to try and release back into the wild at sometime today. Will report back later
Notes (recorded 23rd May 2016) from today and also over the past few days - Dalton, Hutton Roof, Burton In Kendal and Dalton Hall Estate area etc plus notifications
Been advised by two separate friends (Robert Ashworth and David Pitman) that Fly Orchids are just starting off on Hutton Roof complex with one in flower and several probably opening up within the next week.
|Herb Paris in woodland - Dalton Hall Estate (private) (Click over to enlarge)|
|presumed all "Pyrausta ostrinalis" All three sightings last week , My own photo plus Roberts and David's|
|I wasn't alone in the woods today! I'm sure it was the incredible Jeff Lynne from ELO singing "Mr. Blue Sky" (Click over to enlarge)|