June ends on Promising Note

As usual, the month of June was quiet for birdwatching at Longham Lakes, although the birds themselves were busy enough. Here is a short summary of the month, working backwards.

June 29th: Blustery south-west wind blowing at 15mph, and cloudy, so a good number of Swifts around this afternoon. At least 100 were occasionally pursued by a Hobby. Full count of waterbirds revealed: Mute Swan 41; Canada Goose 5 (pair with 3 goslings); Egyptian Goose 1; Mallard 76 (including females with broods of 5 and 6 chicks, and a group of 7 unaccompanied juveniles); Gadwall 2 (including moulting male); Tufted Duck 81 (no young yet); Great Crested Grebe 29; Little Grebe 3; Cormorant 1; Grey Heron 5; Little Egret 1; Coot 64; Common Sandpiper 1; Black-headed Gull 8; Herring Gull 2; Lesser Black-backed Gull 2.

June 28th: Hobby 1 feeding around the lakes for most of my visit; Redshank 1 on the island in the Longham Reservoir South; Med Gull 21+ in Hampreston Fields; Common Tern pair on Longham Reservoir South (George Green).

June 27th: Ringing at the site revealed a good spread of birds, including female Whitethroat with brood patch and juvenile Dunnock, both confirmed breeding. Most intriguingly, three of the four Reed Warblers that fledged from the nest by the ringing nets (see previous post) were trapped together, including two in the same net, suggesting that the siblings are still associating (Roger Peart).

June 24th: Among the usual WEBS count birds, there were 2 Egyptian Geese, 2 Common Tern, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 juvenile Peregrine Falcon (Trevor Thorpe).

June 13th: “I took advantage of the break in the monsoon rains to visit Longham Lakes this evening. This site never disappoints. I had stunning views of 2 Hobbies feeding over the North Lake at dusk. Not sure what prey they were taking. Certainly not dragonflies. Whatever they were taking, it was very small” (George Green).

June 4th:Ringing this morning produced 13 new birds and 21 retraps, some from last year including 14 Reed Warblers and 2 Reed Buntings. There were also some Long-tailed Tits, and Roger Peart comments: “I caught the same family party of LTTs again – but this time I caught 8 (7 last week) and 4 of them were new birds – 3 juv and another female. So your comment on the blog was not quite accurate – one can never be sure that all the birds in a flock have been caught! This time I didn’t get either of the juvs from before nor one of the females. The composition of the group is at least 4F , 2M and 5 juv, but there might be others who avoided the net!

Update on the Reed Warbler nest: all 4 eggs have hatched and the young are probably about 4/5 days old.

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