I plan to post information regarding the wildlife seen on the 12.5 hectares that is Willowbog Farm. It will include images and records of past sightings as well as on going, hopefully, daily observations and images.
Just borrowing Ian’s post ! by all the comments that I have heard so far it was the best BSA show so far!! so pleased that we went out on a high !!
Remiss of me not to have posted here for quite some time ! I am moved to do so today following the notable and rare occurrence of recording five British members of the crow family on our about the farm today.
First up the big daddy of the family the Raven. Once only a very rare sighting here they are now very regular visitors if not quite every day birds. A magnificent species to have around !
Next up a species that really is recorded just about each and every day at Willowbog , the Carrion crow. Not everyone’s favourite but having its own place in the overall scheme of things despite probably playing a part in the notable absence now of ground nesters like Lapwing and Curlew !!
We only seem to record Jackdaws on their spring and autumn movements which is a shame as they are a personal favourite in the family . It is that wonderful call that typically draws ones attention to them as they pass over , often quite high up, in small parties . Always reminds me of a childhood bird haunt in Surrey, the ruins of Waverley Abbey, where the Jackdaws nested in a colony as they often do.
The familiar black and white of the Magpie has only quite recently become a regular sight for us at Willowbog. Once just about never seen they are everyday records for our bird list and almost certainly nested on our land this year for the first time . I love to see them !!
Falling into the same category as the previous are the Jays that also probably nested with us this year . Another bird that was only rarely seen here they are also on the daily list in the diary most time. Arguably the most beautiful of the family and like the magpie are a delight to have around !
The day as a whole has been good for early September with about 25 different birds for the day , weather has been good as well !
In terms of the total number of species seen in a single day , today has been the best of the year so far. Thirty four different birds, about ten short of our best ever single day total but still a decent number.
We also recorded four species for the first time since they returned after the winter away , House and Sand martin , our breeding Sedge warblers are back and we heard the first Cuckoo.
Also notable was recording seven species of the finch family in a day , Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Siskin, Linnet and Redpoll.
Our female Canada goose is sitting tight on a nest of eggs with her mate patrolling the pond and surrounding area. There is a pair of Little Grebe, seemingly breeding again as well as at least a couple of pairs of Moorhen.
Whilst it is nice to be able to see Otters, we are hoping not to get a visit to the pond as we did at this time last year which resulted in the decimation of all the water birds nests !!!
Of course the lovely sunny weather has helped, please may it continue a while yet !!
You do, of course, get huge variations in the plumage of pheasants, though it always seems more commonly seen in the males, this female is an attractive alternative to the norm.
Here she was this afternoon happily sat atop the cotoneaster tucking into the berries. Much darker than the ones that usually frequent the garden.
Apart from the lovely Waxings yesterday, seen on a couple of occaisons , another , slightly interesting observation, was recording five members of the Corvid family on the one day. A small flock of Jackdaws flew over in the morning, quite high up and calling otherwise I would never have noticed them. A couple of Ravens were about on and off through the day and we had Magpies and Jays scavenging for food in the garden all day. The Jays actually cling on the peanut feeders and eat the nuts. And the fifth, the ever present Carrion crows.
We see Redstarts several times during the course of most years, usually spring and autumn.
We had what looked like a juvenile male in the garden this morning, nice birds to have about though and I have made a mental note to myself to make time during the winter to get more next boxes, of all shapes and sizes made, and put up before next years breeding season. No reason why we should not get Redstarts nesting on the farm, particularly now that our trees planting schemes are starting to mature.
Not my photo above.