It was a warm day but the breeze was cool. Walking beside the railway line we saw the usual selection of birds including a wren. These tiny birds spend much of the year close to the ground flitting amongst the bushes. The males sing mostly hidden in the depths of the bushes, which makes them quite difficult to see. This time of year though they sing from higher up in the bushes which makes them easier to see. Quite often the male will build half a dozen nests in its territory from which the female chooses the one she considers most suitable in which to lay her eggs. We could hear the blackcaps but didn’t sight one until later in the outing whereas the whitethroats were clearly visible singing from prominent positions
The lake provided us with some interest today firstly sighting swallows as they swooped over it feeding on insects and then we were drawn to the water’s edge by the vegetation that was growing there.
On our way a linnet posed and sang for us as it sat on one of the Frisbee Golf structures.
We identified the vegetation at the water’s edge as water crowfoot and also found growing there celery-leaved buttercup. A pair of mallards that were resting in the shelter of a moored boat were surprised by our appearance but not surprised enough to take flight. It was encouraging to see some life on the lake but we were disappointed to hear later that paddle boarding may take place there.
The little egret was feeding in the dyke but the river’s edge yielded nothing. Once again there was not much of interest in the reeds in the park except the song of a hidden reed warbler and so far this year we haven’t heard the cetti’s warbler, nor today had we heard any skylarks. In a bush near the reeds there was a commotion going on partly caused by some long-tailed tits but mostly by an agitated robin and then we saw the cause – a magpie predating its nest.
Next Meeting – Saturday 2nd June 2.00pm meet in the marina car park
Birds: Blackbird, Starling, Robin, Sparrow, Wren, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Great, Long-tailed & Blue Tits, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Swallow, Reed Warbler, Cuckoo, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Crow, Jackdaw, Pheasant, Mallard, Little Egret, Black-headed & Common Gull.
Flowers: Daisy, Dandelion, Cow Parsley, Celery-leaved, Bulbous & Creeping Buttercup, Gorse, Red & White Deadnettle, Ground Ivy, Groundsel, Speedwell, Chickweed, Small-flowered Cranesbill, Horse Chestnut, Hoary Cress, Shepherd’s Purse, Hawthorn, Alkanet, Common Vetch, Beaked Hawk’s Beard, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Stinging Nettle, Cleavers, Common Field & Germander Speedwell, Ribwort Plantain, Black & Spotted Medick, Field Forget-me-not, Hedge Mustard, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Ragwort, White Campion, Field Maple, Jack-by-the-Hedge, Ramsoms, Herb Robert, Wild Pansy.
Other: Buff-tailed bumblebee, Orange- tipped, Large White & Brimstone butterflies