Bird News: early May 2022

The Raven’s nest on the pylon at Kingston Seymour held three sizeable young at the beginning of the month. and there was a Whinchat on Kenn Moor the next day.

The early morning bird song walk enjoyed good listening conditions, overcast, mild and flat calm. We heard eight species of warblers from the Strawberry Line and Congresbury Moor. There are more Sedge Warblers than for many years and four Lesser Whitethroats (plus another as I cycled from the station) was a good score. It was good to hear a couple of Song Thrushes and to see a few Swallows fly over. Thanks to Mark for leading.

Lesser Whitethroat (Photo by Dr Peter Grainger)

Another Wheatear was at the works site on Wemberham Lane on the 3rd, with a Linnet and a very smart singing male Reed Bunting nearby. Two (juvenile?) Ravens visited the apology for a nest on the railway pylon and two Lesser Whitethroats and two Reed Warblers were singing there, one of the latter from a ditch with minimal reeds. Half a dozen Swallows were present. On the same day the Cuckoo was heard briefly at Congresbury. Reed Buntings were singing on their nesting territories but a pair were still visiting garden feeders.

The Strawberry Line survey (5th) was very productive with 18 singing Reed Warblers and all seven locally regular warbler species recorded. Greenfinches were also showing well and a Kestrel was dive bombing some unseen adversary over the 10 Acres Reserve. At Kingston Seymour the Raven chicks had fledged (6th) and on the same day a female Wheatear was on the Hinkley Connect works on Wemberham Lane. The Mute Swans had hatched six cygnets (by Claverham Drove on the 8th).

Mute Swan and newly hatched cygnets (photo by Dan Palmer)

The Littlewood survey on the 9th turned up a Tawny Owl. They are resident there but rarely seen. On the same day a Little Owl was seen on the Congresbury section of the Strawberry Line and Barn Owls were active at various sites in the YACWAG area. The Cuckoo was calling at Congresbury and three Swifts were over there in the evening. They are late this year. House Martins were actually on the Strawberry Line path at the north end of Yatton perhaps collecting grit for egg laying.

House Martins on the path at Chestnut Park (photo by Emily Lomas)

Cadbury Hill was quiet (10th) except for Greenfinches with fledged young calling for food and at the end of our visit a noisy but unseen Green Woodpecker. In 100 minutes we didn’t see or hear a Blue Tit. Presumably they were all in their nesting cycle and neither calling or showing. Two Siskins visited a garden in Congresbury.

The number of Reed Warblers singing along both the Yatton and Congresbury sections of the Strawberry Line is exceptional and most of our regular warbler species seem to have arrived in good numbers. Not so Swallows, House Martins and Swifts. Very few are at their local nest sites but 2,000 (!) Swifts were at Chew Valley Lake on the 12th.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in sightings, please keep them coming to the address below.

All the best,


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