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Friday, 17 June 2016

Local News

I’ve been rather neglecting reporting from the Ings for a while, I’ll start with a brief summary of the year so far, it was a slow start, I didn’t go down much due to the extensive flooding and with it being so mild there wasn’t much winter stuff around, the best bird from this period was a Grey Partridge at the top end of Rawcliffe Ings on February 11th.  At the end of February and through March up to three Roe Deer  started frequenting the Cornfield NR and could be seen on an almost daily basis completely unconcerned  by people walking past, seen in the Flood Basin on a couple of occasions too.  Several Lesser Redpolls were around the Chapel in Clifton Park mid March, not particularly a common visitor to the area so it was nice to have these birds singing and displaying for a few days plus a big departure of Redwings was noted on the 22nd, hundreds of them sat in the riverside trees all calling and chattering away then moving off in small groups. Raptors, apart from the usual Sparrowhawks and Kestrels there has been regular sightings of Buzzards this year, three together one day, also the Minster Peregrines have been over two or three times although I’m surprised I don’t see them more often, then I suppose it’s all about timing. Spring migrants started arriving late March/early April with a good number of Sand Martins returning this year although Warblers seem to be thin on the ground, three Oystercatchers flew over calling on the 1st April but the best sighting of Spring and a patch tick were the two Common Cranes, already mentioned in a previous post, that came over the Cornfield NR on the 22nd April. May has been fairly uneventful birdwise as everything has just gone about its business but some good weather attracted a few Butterflies out including Painted Ladies and a few Brown Argus on 9th June, this week has been changeable weatherwise with a continued threat of rain but a walk of the full circuit mid-week got me a few extra species, plenty of Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits on Clifton Ings which hasn’t been cut early for a change, Willow Warblers in the riverside vegetation, being strangely absent from the rest of the site, a Buzzard over before being chased off by the local Corvids but the most intriguing sighting was a pair of Curlew bubbling away as they dropped in, I’ve had a few pass over before now but it’s the first time I’ve seen them land, they then just disappeared into the long grass. On the 16th I got another patch tick, whilst passing the mature trees in Clifton Park I heard the familiar call of Nuthatch, always thought it was a good area for them, nice to get them at last. Also a Fox in the Flood Basin this week and a Roe Deer over the river on Acomb Ings.

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