Friday, 21 June 2013

Its all about the juveniles at Lake Farm on summer solstice day

It was a humid muggy day with the odd burst of sunshine and two smatterings of rain,
but that didn't stop me getting out to Lake Farm today.
Not many birds around to be seen out in the open, but they were plenty in the undergrowth. Lots of 'cheeping' noises from fledglings and juveniles. By the canal (whilst looking for the famous invisible Bullfinches), I located movement on the other side of the water. A family of Dad and three juvenile Blackcaps were flitting around. No sign of Mum though.
Number one
Number two with Dad
Number three
Dad doing all the insect hunting himself.
Back in the copse at Lake Farm I could hear a high pitched cry. It took me ages to locate it as it was in a scrubby clearance where you actually look down into the shrubs. Finally I followed an adult Wrens flight and found a fledgling baby. It's a wonder more youngsters don't get predated. They certainly know how to draw attention to themselves. The adult fed the chick twice before the youngster decided to move on.
Feed me NOW !
Fledgling Wren
I checked the patch of brambles where Tony James and I had seen a young Whitethroat last week. Sure enough within 10 minutes this lovely youngster popped up a few feet away. Its past the stage of being fed by its parents now, and its plumage is almost complete. However the parent birds were still around. In all I spotted nine juveniles and seven adult Common Whitethroats across the site today. it really has been a good year for them.
teenage Common Whitethroat
the same teenager getting its own food.
After a brief heavy shower where I sheltered under a tree and scared the crap out of two juvenile Woodpigs, I made my way up the canal to Stockley Park. I could hear Great Spotted Woodpeckers calling all along that stretch of the canal, but only got the below record shot to prove the Lake Farm juveniles are moving around nicely.
Juv Great Spotted Woodpecker
By the reed beds at Stockley, I was dismayed to see I wasn't going to be alone. A group of young teenagers (of the human variety) were fishing there. The Reed Warbler that had showed so well for Tony, Sue, Roy and myself last week, stayed hidden with only the occasional burst of song. It did flit across to the other pond for a short while but wasn't keen on coming out in the open with all the noise the fishing teenagers were doing
brief glimpse of the Reed Warbler
this Robin kept popping up and staring at the humans fishing
On the way back home, after another heavy rain shower, I stopped to try to take some photos of the damselflys that were flitting around. Was very difficult to get any focused shots as the wind kept whipping up. So I will get back within the next few days, so see how many varieties I can find.

So not a bad day for the local patch, though the three birds I really wanted to see (Reed Buntings, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits) weren't showing at all. And because the weather was so unpredictable I didn't venture more into Stockley Park due to no cover being there and the fact I had not jacket. Still, Ive got another three days off work, so hopefully can fit in another visit, and more extensive search of Stockley soon. 

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