Three Skylarks were in full song in the Wemberham area on the first of the month. They must be on their second or third nesting attempts this year. Song will diminish and probably be over by mid month. Nearby four Lapwings were exhibiting breeding behaviour over the large field of maize. The crop has grown substantially and the birds can only be seen in flight and that made it pretty difficult to assess how many young fledged but I think that at least two made it.
A Green Woodpecker was in Yatton church yard and there were two juveniles in the Yatton allotments but a garden in Kenn could only claim a dead one minus head suggesting a Peregrine kill. A visit to check on the Lapwings at Wemberham (one seen) a few days later produced a big surprise in the form of Grasshopper Warbler the first that I have seen for years. It was likely to have been a young bird possibly raised locally.
A longish walk along the Lanes around Cleeve and Brockley Way eventually yielded a singing Yellowhammer in Meeting House Lane. This species is just hanging on in the YACWAG area. Any sightings would be most welcome.
An evening walk along the Congresbury section of the Strawberry Line (looking for glow worms) produced a family of Little Owls for Richard, albeit in near darkness. Red Kites are becoming more prevalent, there was a party of four over Congresbury and perhaps the same four flew over Wemberham on the 10th. 30 Swallows by the farm in Wemberham Lane was an encouraging sight and there were five Lapwings by the M5.
Sedge Warblers were active and performing song flights by the River Yeo, six between Wemberham and the A370. This suggests that they were rearing second broods, an encouraging sign as numbers had dropped over recent years. A Whinchat in the same area was a very early returning migrant.
Kingfishers have been seen in Wemberham Lane and at a large garden pond in Claverham, perhaps youngsters looking for territories. On the subject of colourful birds, Green Woodpeckers were vocal later in the month at the Strawberry Line, Kenn Moor Reserve and Wemberham Lane. A Reed Warbler was still singing at the latter on the 27th and three young Reed Warblers were in Stowell’s Reed bed. A young Buzzard was calling incessantly at Stowey Reserve with a pair of Sparrowhawks indulging in some unseasonal display.
The regular Peregrine continued to frequent the pylons and our local Barn Owls have enjoyed a productive season. An article about them will appear in the next newsletter.
Finally, normally just report on birds in the YACWAG area but the splendid picture of the Black Browed Albatross was too good to omit. Mark Savage saw this at Bempton, East Yorkshire whilst on holiday. This bird (known as Albert…..) should be in the Southern Hemisphere but it’s migration track has gone awry and this is the third summer I think that it has spent around Bempton.
All the best,
Please send sightings to email@example.com