Friday, 5 June 2020

Cute fluffy ball day

Strong westerly winds increasing towards gale force during day. Some showers, some hail and some sunshine.

Hopefully more records to come.

Middleton Nature Reserve - late morning
Mute Swan - the nesting pair on the main pond are now displaying their 5 chicks. There are still 18 other mute on the pond too. The pair on the "no swimming" pond have lost one of their chicks, just 3 remaining. There was a pair nesting on the Fence pond, but they have not been seen since the growing reeds obscured the nest site. Their status remains unknown.
The main pond mute with her chicks.

Warblers all breeding singing males heard with the exception of Grasshopper
Stock dove 2
Swift 1 north

Painted Lady 1 - first record of the year.
It hasn't settled on some unseasonal ice, just broken glass in a less than pristine corner of the Reserve.

Orchids - an amateur's assessment (MD)
There are now at least three species in bloom -
Bee Orchid - see Kevin's picture on 31st May post
Spotted Orchid
Spotted Orchid normally have spotted leaves

Marsh Orchid
There are some nice stands around - Marsh orchids leaves are generally not spotted.

There are at least two species of Marsh Orchid on the reserve, plus almost certainly hybrids.
This looks like a Southern Marsh Orchid

This looks more like a Northern Marsh Orchid.

The natural colour variation within the species overlap the other species, even without hybridisation. The only way, if you are not an expert, is a good reference book, a magnifying glass and more patience than I posess. Still there must be worse ways to spend a couple of hours.

Lighthouse area - early evening
Rock Pipit 1
This picture by Kevin is actually from Tuesday

And, at least two, possibly three more new fluffy balls
This is the Herring gull that was suffering in the heat on Sunday (see post 31st May). She's having a rest now, but kept half an eye on me!

Thursday - belated

Sorry about the short intermission, hopefully back to "normal" now.
Stiff west breeze with intermittent showers.

Thanks to the observers below for providing these records.

This flock of second calendar year Knot seen by Tim and Janine (F) on Wednesday 13:30. It is a decent size for this late in the year.

Heysham skeer - Thursday evening
A check of the low water channels found no waders other than Oystercatchers and a couple of Curlew. No diving birds seen on the water, just a pair of Eider having a rest on a mid skeer pool.

Have you lost, or can you identify, this bird?

This escaped cagebird finch was seen and photographed by John (D) in his garden. Not within my ability to identify (MD)

This moth from Kevin's trap SD46A
Silky Wainscot - a local coastal species