This time last week I was getting really excited about all of our nest cameras as everything was happening all at once! I can now announce that all four kestrel chicks have fledged and are now all learning to fly around the fields near the farm! The smallest of the chicks hung around the box for a couple of days longer than the others but even he/she has taken the plunge and left. If you do look at the webcam you may be lucky enough to see one or even two chicks come back for a rest! Yesterday when the last chick was still in the box one of the parents had brought in a very alive bank vole. It sat frozen in the corner of the box for ages but when I turned my back it disappeared. Reading our forum later I discovered that the vole suddenly sprang in to life, ran across the box and leaped to freedom. I am not sure what happened after that but it is quite a drop!
I was also talking about the mallards in the buzzards nest and against the odds 8 ducklings hatched and fledged from the nest. The blue tits on the third camera also fledged at the weekend and the wrens in the work shop left the day after I blogged about them. So it is good news for all of our chicks this year!!
The guided walk today produced spoonbills and Dartford warblers and there are still plenty of siskins on our feeders. There are lots of fledgelings about at the moment and one of the birds that causes the most confusion is the great tit. Juveniles are very yellow in colours and for a while look like they couldn't be something different!
Something a little bit different was reported over the weekend in the shape of a Southern Marsh Orchid. This was spotted along the path by the Shipstal ponds (which have just been reopen). It is a fairly common plant but unusual at Arne. As its name suggests it likes wetter boggy areas and this position by the ponds is ideal.
It is the time of year when the sika deer hinds are calving and a few very young calves have been spotted amongst the heather already. I stumbled across one myself on the heath last week. If you come across one it is best to leave them alone as the mother will not be far off although she may not be in sight and often calves can be left on their own for a couple of hours at a time. So don't worry everything in normally OK! The really nice thing about the Sika deer this time of year is there rich spotty coats which is a bit different from their dark grey/brown winter coats.
Thanks for the info. nice to see some of the Kestrel chicks back inside the box and tucked up for the night :-)
surprised the Deer don't eat all the orchids..:-)