A brief four hour visit to Lake Farm this morning produced lots of Linnets, Common Whitethroats and Reed Buntings, but no sign of yesterdays Whinchat or Wheatears. The weather was much much cooler than yesterday, so I had packed a flask of coffee, and happily stayed sitting on one of my favourite benches, watching the action around me.
There was a flock of 8-9 Linnets but they never settle long enough for me to grab a photo. Today however, with me sitting quietly on a bench, it wasn't long before they settled in front of me and I was able to grab a couple of photos without having to stand up and disturb them. I counted at least five males and three or four females. They nest at Lake Farm, there were good numbers of them last year, so it looks like this year will be good for them too.
Again there didn't seem to be many Reed Buntings around. I found four males and three females today. Just a couple of months ago I had 26 Reed Buntings in the perimeter hedgerow, now that hedgerow is home to a large flock of House Sparrows and Starlings roost there. The Reed Buntings have all drifted more towards the centre of the site.
|male Reed Bunting|
Every now and then a Skylark would burst into song, I'd look around and find it doing its fabulous 'sky dance' before plummeting back down into the long grass. Several times I heard them singing from deep down in the grass, but even with my bins I couldn't spot them. I tried capturing the one below as it sang above me. Not a great photo, and I'll keep on trying.
The resident female Sparrowhawk flew over the site in a very leisurely fashion.
The most activity I saw today were of the Whitethroats. There were constant outbursts of singing and chasing. Several times I accidently flushed them from the ground or from low down in the shrubs. I also watched them collecting insects from under leaves and carrying wispy bits of old grass. We had Common and Lesser Whitethroats nesting last year. There are probably Lessers already on site, but I havnt been able to find one yet. The Commons took up most of my time today. I could watch them for hours. Such beautiful little birds.
I only found one pair of Blackcaps today by the willows. The male GS Woodpecker was there again, still busily excavating a nice neat nest hole. Chiff Chaffs were abundantly heard in the copse by the canal. I lost another half an hour trying to find the geocache that I could not find yesterday, and again I failed. Maybe I should stick to finding birds instead :)