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tierradelfuego
23 May 2024 13:19:00
Our first set of Blue Tits have fledged and left the nest, the second set look at max a week away, so another dozen to add to the local population, which is thriving. The Great Tits have also gone, and the Robin in our Jasminoides is busily feeding.

One thing I have really noticed this year is the cuckoo... not exactly my sound of the summer - I prefer hearing the swallows and swifts personally, but it has been worrying that in many recent years there have been at max half a dozen occasions when I have heard one and rarely from the house. This year it has been pretty much every day since the 23rd April and still going strong.

Anyone else heard more this year?
Bucklebury
West Berkshire Downs AONB
135m ASL

VP2 with daytime FARS
Rainfall collector separated at ground level
Anemometer separated above roof level
WeatherLink Live (Byles Green Weather)
Roger Parsons
23 May 2024 13:44:37

Our first set of Blue Tits have fledged and left the nest, the second set look at max a week away, so another dozen to add to the local population, which is thriving. The Great Tits have also gone, and the Robin in our Jasminoides is busily feeding.

One thing I have really noticed this year is the cuckoo... not exactly my sound of the summer - I prefer hearing the swallows and swifts personally, but it has been worrying that in many recent years there have been at max half a dozen occasions when I have heard one and rarely from the house. This year it has been pretty much every day since the 23rd April and still going strong.

Anyone else heard more this year?

Originally Posted by: tierradelfuego 

You might find the following links of interest:

Thousands of migrating birds arrive on coast 11/4/2024
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cq5n7593jl9o 
BTO Cuckoo satellite tracking project
https://www.bto.org/cuckoos 2024 
 
RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.
William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830
tierradelfuego
24 May 2024 08:24:23

You might find the following links of interest:

Thousands of migrating birds arrive on coast 11/4/2024
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cq5n7593jl9o 
BTO Cuckoo satellite tracking project
https://www.bto.org/cuckoos 2024 
 

Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons 



Thanks Roger, the tracking project looks like an interesting website. As it says on there, and as I understood it, the numbers are down a lot and that's exactly why I found it strange that this year seems to be a reversal of the trend... here at least.
Bucklebury
West Berkshire Downs AONB
135m ASL

VP2 with daytime FARS
Rainfall collector separated at ground level
Anemometer separated above roof level
WeatherLink Live (Byles Green Weather)
Devonian
26 May 2024 10:10:39
A local lad (and BTO trained ringer) has just been around checking our bird nests and nest boxes. We have two swallow nests (as last year, but many less than the eight we have had in the past) one with advanced chicks (they got here v early and have got well ahead). We have loads of house martins, like last year.

But our big news is we have barn owls in our nest box and four eggs 👏. It's amazing to see them as I last saw a barn owl around here at least 40 years ago. What's changed? Our bit of east Dartmoor is less farmed than it was (though only a mile away the reverse is the case), our wildflower meadow and that we no long let our field be cut for silage are possibilities that come to mind.
Roger Parsons
26 May 2024 10:29:21
Looked out of the bedroom window this morning [7am] as a roe deer was running down the main street of the village in a panic. For a moment I thought it was an escaped foal going crackers in traffic. On a walk yesterday 7+ housemartins were collecting mud from, a puddle on "The Viking Way". The Local Barn Owl camera is down so I won't post the link to it until it is working again - but they have 4 chicks, growing fast. Here's some images from it:
https://www.lenpicktrust.org.uk/news/category/lenpicktrust/owlblog/ 

Update: Our chicks have been ringed! 15 June 2024 - Camera is working. Enjoy!
https://www.lenpicktrust.org.uk/owl-project/ 
 
RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.
William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830
NMA
  • NMA
  • Advanced Member
26 May 2024 13:25:10
Good building weather and materials for housemartins this year.
I'm planning to visit the sandmartins in an old gravel pit.
 
Vale of the Great Dairies
South Dorset
Elevation 60m 197ft
Roger Parsons
04 June 2024 07:55:50
Four peregrine falcon chicks born at Cathedral 👍
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/crggzjpxkjpo 
RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.
William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830
Windy Willow
08 June 2024 08:58:20
I've been up close and personal with a family of Goldfinches in my back garden this morning. They've been about for a few days now as they have a very distinct sound, compared to the other usual birds. They were seeking out bugs, I believe, on the Morello Cherry tree. Quite delightful!
South Holland, Lincs 5m/16ft ASL

Don't feed the Trolls!! When starved of attention they return to their dark caves or the dark recesses of bridges and will turn back to stone, silent again!
Roger Parsons
08 June 2024 09:16:13

I've been up close and personal with a family of Goldfinches in my back garden this morning. They've been about for a few days now as they have a very distinct sound, compared to the other usual birds. They were seeking out bugs, I believe, on the Morello Cherry tree. Quite delightful!

Originally Posted by: Windy Willow 

We are just back from a walk in Scotgrove Wood. Full of birdsong, the smell of honeysuckle, the sound of a Roe Deer barking loudly and orchids in flower. Hard to believe this peaceful place was the site of Thor Missiles during the Cold War and before that the base of "The Other Dambusters". Back then local kids, mostly girls, used to "adopt a Lancaster, count it out and, sometimes, count it in again, sometimes not. Hard to imagine...
https://www.visitlincolnshire.com/things-to-do/walking/bardney-short-walk/ 
 
RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.
William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830
DEW
  • DEW
  • Advanced Member
12 June 2024 08:13:23
Nicholas Watts, a Lincolnshire farmer known to Roger and others, reports in his latest 'News from the Farm' bulletin that some years back he persuaded the local drainage board to cut only one side of the local ditches alternately each year and that only once. The result has been more reeds, hence more reed warblers, hence more cuckoos which he now hears daily as compared to 40 or 50 years ago when there were none. This year a bittern has turned up.

And the drainage board has saved money!
War does not determine who is right, only who is left - Bertrand Russell

Chichester 12m asl
Roger Parsons
12 June 2024 14:06:47

Nicholas Watts, a Lincolnshire farmer known to Roger and others, reports in his latest 'News from the Farm' bulletin that some years back he persuaded the local drainage board to cut only one side of the local ditches alternately each year and that only once. The result has been more reeds, hence more reed warblers, hence more cuckoos which he now hears daily as compared to 40 or 50 years ago when there were none. This year a bittern has turned up.

And the drainage board has saved money!

Originally Posted by: DEW 

Well remembered and perfectly correct.
RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.
William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830
Retron
12 June 2024 17:09:13
I've just pulled the curtains overlooking the patio (as for once it's dull and gloomy) and while I was holding the pull-cord I spotted three birds in a procession across the lawn... a blackbird, and two brown birds with black beaks following closely behind. I carried on watching as the blackbird led the other two around the lawn for a minute or so, then all three flew off to land in an elderberry bush. Looking it up online confirmed what I was thinking - the brown birds were fledgelings and I guess it was dad showing their territory to them!

That follows on from seeing a half dozen or so young starlings perched on the conifer last week, and judging by the quietness in my bedroom the sparrows resident in the eaves have said goodbye to their youngsters too. And while I was using the exercise bike earlier (positioned by the front window of the living room), a blue tit randomly landed on the window sill and stayed there for a few seconds - first time I've seen one in my garden.

It's not just birds visiting, either. I've got a bumble bee nest for the second year in a row, and they've been very busy on the sumac (three or four on some of the cones), as well as the fuschia, which they seem to adore. The former was planted by my mum in the 80s and now extends for 20 feet along one side of the garden, while the fuschia arrived in a large pot after the Kent County Show around 20 years ago... my dad, ever savvy for a bargain, bought one of the large display plants from a car dealership stand (they always sell them off cheaply at the end of the last day). It's now a massive bush, 8 feet high, 6 feet round and absolutely festooned with pink and purple flowers. The bees love it - there have been honey bees on it too, visiting from the hive on the nearby farm.

People may be complaining that it's a few degrees below average right now, but the wildlife doesn't care one iota!

EDIT: A couple of photos I took yesterday.

https://ukwct.org.uk/weather/bee1.jpg?a 
UserPostedImage

https://ukwct.org.uk/weather/bee2.jpg?a 
UserPostedImage
Leysdown, north Kent
Roger Parsons
16 June 2024 15:28:56

Update on Barn Owls.
Our chicks have been ringed! 15 June 2024
- Camera is working. Enjoy!
https://www.lenpicktrust.org.uk/owl-project/ 

 
RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.
William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830
DEW
  • DEW
  • Advanced Member
17 June 2024 16:10:02
The Head gardener at West Dean, where I do some voluntary work in the gardens, has over the last couple of years left increasingly large areas of meadow uncut until late in the season.

It's a truism that if you provide the habitat, the appropriate species will turn up - and so they have. This year there are a number of hares sheltering in the long grass. Trouble is, they don't stay in the meadows and eat the grass, but like to vary their diet with the new plantings elsewhere in the Gardens.
War does not determine who is right, only who is left - Bertrand Russell

Chichester 12m asl
Roger Parsons
22 June 2024 10:52:53
Good walk in the local limewoods today. 25+ White Admirals enjoying the blackberry flowers. Buzzards calling. Perfick.

White Admirals.
https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/white-admiral 
Don't forget the Big Butterfly Count - Friday 12th July 2024 and will run until Sunday 4th August.
https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/ 

 
RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.
William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830
Roger Parsons
23 June 2024 06:32:04
p.s.
I also "invented" a new noun. "Lepidopotread."

Lepidopotread = Promiscuous tramping down of vegetation for purposeless repetitive photographing of butterflies you have already photographed. I suppose it is better than catching and murdering them!
RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.
William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830
Bertwhistle
24 June 2024 18:13:40
What a cracking bit of footage- not quite a Bambi scene; deer and otter meet:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cekkkd9re0go 
 
Bertie, Itchen Valley.
'We'll never see 40 celsius in this country'.
Northern Sky
25 June 2024 07:27:22
I think this subject probably deserves its own thread on UIA but I wondered if anyone else has noticed the lack of insects this year? Certainly numbers are well down here but I've seen reports from entomologists and people who collect data all around the country and nearly all are reporting very poor numbers recorded.

One scientist I follow on X said that the declines over the last 4 years have been exponential and can only be described as catastrophic. 

Obviously the dull, wet Spring, followed by the cool and wet first half of June has hit hard and this has taken place against a background of long term decline due to habitat loss and pesticide use. Very worrying.  
Roger Parsons
25 June 2024 07:39:34

I think this subject probably deserves its own thread on UIA but I wondered if anyone else has noticed the lack of insects this year? Certainly numbers are well down here but I've seen reports from entomologists and people who collect data all around the country and nearly all are reporting very poor numbers recorded.

One scientist I follow on X said that the declines over the last 4 years have been exponential and can only be described as catastrophic. 

Obviously the dull, wet Spring, followed by the cool and wet first half of June has hit hard and this has taken place against a background of long term decline due to habitat loss and pesticide use. Very worrying.  

Originally Posted by: Northern Sky 



There's truth in that, NS, but fluctuations of populations in response to unseasonal weather are not uncommon. Insects and other invertebrates also have an ability to "bounce back". If something dramatic changes in response to weather/climate trends or agriculture/land use/development, it's not the response that is "catastrophic" so much as the cause. Before you fix a leak you need to turn off the water! 😁

We have a rather good "Let It Bloom June" on the go and has been well used by bumblebees. Not honeybees so much. I'm noticing more moths now.  Bats are working these - we even caught a bat flying low on our trailcam. But I'd say bat numbers were down too. I'm hearing only a few on the detector compared with earlier years.
RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
Everything taken together, here in Lincolnshire are more good things than man could have had the conscience to ask.
William Cobbett, in his Rural Rides - c.1830
NMA
  • NMA
  • Advanced Member
25 June 2024 11:30:24

I think this subject probably deserves its own thread on UIA but I wondered if anyone else has noticed the lack of insects this year? Certainly numbers are well down here but I've seen reports from entomologists and people who collect data all around the country and nearly all are reporting very poor numbers recorded.

One scientist I follow on X said that the declines over the last 4 years have been exponential and can only be described as catastrophic. 

Obviously the dull, wet Spring, followed by the cool and wet first half of June has hit hard and this has taken place against a background of long term decline due to habitat loss and pesticide use. Very worrying.  

Originally Posted by: Northern Sky 



I noticed the same thing last year. I think by the end of the summer there was what Roger terms a bounce back.
But yes, I agree this year so far there seems to be a lack of insects. That said, I've never seen so many dragonflies/damselflies as this year. There is a large body of freshwater nearby and the other day the place was thick with them on a calm early evening.
Bees. I have an olive bush just outside the office door. It is flowering and in the past (not this or last year) I've seen dozens of bees at a time collecting pollen from this plant. A few minutes ago there were three bees collecting pollen like this one.
UserPostedImage
 
Vale of the Great Dairies
South Dorset
Elevation 60m 197ft
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