Bird news: August 2021

Whinchat on the Strawberry Line by Mark Savage

A single Lapwing on a field adjacent to the Strawberry Line was an unusual late summer record these days. From Wemberham Lane a pair of Ravens were visible perched on a diagonal strut on a pylon. Why do Ravens like to use inclined perches, Kestrels and Peregrines never do? Indeed a Peregrine was on the top horizontal bar feeding on the 13th and was in exactly the same place the next morning. The first Little Egret of the autumn along Wemberham Lane arrived on the 15th.

Much more exciting was an Osprey perched by the Kenn River spotted by Littlewood warden John Croxton. It is tempting to think that this may be the same bird as that seen by John and myself in the same area on the 8th April. Many birds are creatures of habit and it is quite likely that the Osprey would stop at the same feeding sites on its return as well as on it’s outward migration.

Member Bryan Thompson watched a Red Kite fly over his bungalow in Kenn on the 16th followed by a juvenile Wheatear in his garden the next day. On the 18th a Red Kite was on fields adjacent to the Strawberry Line, causing our Chairman’s wife to almost crash her bicycle when it flew just over her head! Co incidentally I had a similar, but less exciting, encounter with a low flying Sparrowhawk the next day.

Barn Owls on Congresbury Moor Reserve by “Eddy2Names”

The five young Barn Owlets on Congresbury Moor have fledged and vacated the box which we now intend  to replace but sadly one was found dead in the adjacent field on the 20th. I think that it may have flown into the barbed wire fence. We are planning to relocate the box to lessen the risk of this happening again.

Also on the 20th a Peregrine was feeding avidly on a pylon near Wemberham Lane. This is a regular sight and I wonder what will happen when the pylons are demolished- the new pylons don’t look to be so Peregrine friendly. The next day it was back with two Kestrels on another pylon, perhaps young birds fledged from one of our Congresbury Moor boxes.

Whinchat by Mark Savage

A Whinchat was spotted by Mark Savage on the 26th, close to where he saw one in Spring. That evening, Melvin Wood reported Swallows swarming over the Reed beds at Stowell’s ‘ perhaps a thousand’! The following evening was dull and cool but around 200 Swallows went to roost there. Two days later I estimated 500 Swallows at the roost.

We don’t often get bird news from Kings Wood so it was good to get a report of a Redstart there on the 28th from Dave Playle. A Grey Wagtail was a welcome visitor to a garden pond in Claverham. The month ended with my first Kingfisher of the Autumn by Wemberham Rhyne.