Lateest Sightings – Raptor activity

Tuesday 28 June 2011
Signs today of the bird seasons moving on with my first Little Grebe since early April, in the channel just south of the Green Bridge.  Almost at the same time, a Green Sandpiper flew high NE overhead calling.  Again my first since April.  Otherwise, I saw a Sparrowhawk carrying prey, but this one flew down over the west side of the Lockwood Reservoir and carried on, so wasn’t one of the Tottenham Marshes pair.  Perhaps this was one of the pair that George and I think breed at The Paddock most years?

Most birds still singing, but no sound of the Garden Warbler or the Reed Bunting that turned up in early June.  Terry saw a Kingfisher and a Hobby yesterday, but I have still not recorded either on the Marshes this year ..yet! 

Thursday 23rd June 2011
Saw a juvenile Kestrel sitting on top of gasometer at 8.40am, at 8.45 it flew off east and then there were two juveniles chasing a male Kestrel and calling at it.  So it looks as if there were just 2 young raised this year from the gasometer nest and not the three I thought I saw one time.  Also saw 2 young Lesser Black-backed Gulls with adult on the roof of one of the buildings north of the gasometer, (viewed from the Chalk Bridge) and then, from the Banbury Reservoir, saw another 2 on top of another building there.  I’ve thought the LBBs were breeding there, from the number of times I’ve seen adults on the buildings, but this is the first time I’ve had proof of breeding.

For those with an interest in flowers, in the east bit of the pond there’s a Celery-leaved Buttercup.

Pete Lambert

Family life with Sand Martins

Our Sand Martins are doing well, with 29 chicks counted so far and activity in the other holes. As can be seen from the last picture some chicks have already fledged and left the nest. It is usual that Sand Martins have two broods and there are signs that some brids are already preparing for this.
An early morning feed for the chicks.

Arriving with more food followed by a shadow.

Still hungry.
Off for more food followed by a shadow.

Time for a bit of sunbathing.

A fledged chick from the nest still demands attention as mum (or dad).
is too busy preening.
David Cottridge

New arrivals

We have some new arrivals on the marshes – Pymmes Brook to be exact. I spent a bit of time yesterday watching the 14 Sand Martin holes, and there is activity in all of them. I think the development of the chicks must be at different stages as at two holes I observed three chicks well advanced (see picture), about half a dozen holes with frequent visits from adults and the rest with occassional visits. We will be keeping a close eye on them to see how many chicks we have altogether