Monday, 9 July 2012

Weather or not!

I've never set off on a days birding with as much apprehension as I did today on my final visit - probably - to Barbondale this year. Taking into account the weather we have endured for most of this - so called - summer, I was in fear of lifting the lid on the first nest box I arrived at this morning, but to satisfy myself one way or the other it was essential that I 'did the rounds' in order to confirm what the situation was at the end of the breeding season for the Barbondale Pied Flycatchers, remembering that the season so far has been the best to date since the nest boxes were erected here four years ago in 2008.

An hour later and my worst fears were thankfully ill-founded because I had found all five boxes empty and 32 young Pied Flycatcher had at least left their home for the past few weeks and were now hopefully 'on their way'. Atrocious weather or not, I think this has proved beyond any doubt how resilient these birds are when it comes to survival in just about the worst conditions imaginable for an insect feeding bird. I can't begin to describe how pleased I am with this result, the effort in setting up the nest box scheme at Barbondale four years ago has turned out to have been an excellent idea after all and JW has the biggest share in this. Five pairs of PF's in 2012 at Barbondale, in 2013....ten pairs!

I managed to see and note one or two other species whilst here, not least notable were 15 Wheatear, ten of which were on the wall between the footbridge and the gate in just a matter of a few metres, most of which were juvenile birds giving the feeling the place was alive with them, so the weather doesn't appear to have affected the Wheatear either. Also noted, a brief male Redstart, a Tree Pipit, Nuthatch, Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, a singing male Blackcap, c.10 Goldfinch, a Willow Warbler seen feeding a young bird, a Dipper, Buzzard, and my first Meadow Brown of the year. Two Sand Martin were visiting a nest hole in a bank on Barbon Beck again today, I had seen four on my visit of 14 June and they represent the first I ever saw here obviously breeding.  

And on the breeding success theme....

Little Owl. Paul Foster.

I reckon PF grabbed the chance of a lifetime when he was able to achieve an image as brilliant as this one of the four Little Owl youngsters....they don't come much better than this but....

Kestrel. Paul Foster.          

....this one of the five kestrel youngsters is just as good. You did really well here with the Little Owls and Kestrels Paul, great stuff....I'm impressed.

Part 2 of today's efforts will follow when I have the time, but for the moment I've run out of it.


Mike said...

Your choice of PF images to cap off part 1 was a good one.

Pete Woodruff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete Woodruff said...

Sorry for the delete I keep hitting the wrong keys Mike....time I went to bed!

Thanks for looking in again, I appreciate it very much.

Warren Baker said...

Fantastic news on the PF's Pete, hopefully there is hope for our other insectivorous birds :-)