Sunday, 29 July 2012

Prawle (yesterday)

Saturday 28/7;  Birds on the move included 3 Whimbrel, 4 Ringed Plover, Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, Turnstone, 10 Swift, 3 Wheatears, 4 Sedge Warblers, Garden Warbler and 35+ Willow Warblers.  Previous day (27th) saw 50+ Swifts and a Lapwing.

A summer of intense breeding survey work saw, as to be expected, a rather difficult season for a lot of birds.  I've still to fully analyse the figures, but for example, 38 pairs of Herring Gulls hatched only 14 chicks, 2 pairs of Spotted Flycatchers both failed, Whitethroats appear to be down between 30-40%, while 2 pairs of Wheatears did well to raise 3 young between them.  I watched one of the females take all of 2 minutes on one accasion to get into her nest with food, in the face of stormforce winds and horizontal rain.  Once their only child had fledged, they did the sensible thing and departed !!