A father and young son popped into the shop late this afternoon for some ID advice. The lad had shots on his camera of a pair of bramblings, several lesser redpolls and a female linnet that he'd taken around the pond at the hide! They'd also seen nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, stock dove and mallard while sitting in there, so what a great birding afternoon they've both had!
We had a reliable report on Friday of a lesser spotted woodpecker along the Sandy Ridge trail. Last year there were a few reports from this specific area, so we'll be eagerly watching this spot over coming weeks.
Just checking on the Bird News forums and there is plenty of activity around the country, with wheatears, garganey, osprey, swallow and sand martins all arriving over the last week. No reports of any early migrants at The Lodge yet, but we should get the first chiffchaff or maybe a wheatear on Sandy Ridge any day now!
I'm heading down to the West Country for a week, so I'm hoping that I see some of these birds, along with cirl bunting, dipper and some sea birds as well!
On Sunday, two ravens were seen flying together and later in the day, I noticed a raven mobbing a buzzard over the Galley Hill end of the new heath. As we haven't had any signs that they are nesting on the reserve, this is interesting behaviour at this time. Are they starting to nest later this year?
Also yesterday, the lone brambling was seen briefly at the hide, along with a male siskin and three lesser redpolls, and on Sandy Ridge, the fieldfare flock was building up nicely to around 200 birds.
The first chiffchaffs and maybe a wheatear or two should arrive here anytime now. There were a few summer migrants taking advantage of the southerly winds and coming into the country over the weekend, including osprey, swallow, wheatear and garganey, so birds are certainly on the move again.
Image Michael Lawrence