Bird News: June 2023

The month started with three Swifts over Cadbury Hill where young Great Spotted Woodpeckers could be heard in a nest. A Red Kite was over the centre of Yatton early in the month and by mid month at least five has been seen. Parties of House Martins were active in Congresbury (main road) and Chestnut Park Estate, Yatton. Goldcrests were singing in the conifers at the former Yatton Hall and at Glebelands.

Red Kite by Mark Savage (12 June 2023)

The penultimate Strawberry Line survey on the 5th produced no surprises and only eight Reed Warblers were logged, others were almost certainly present but remained silent. Not so with our Cetti’s Warblers, five made themselves heard as only Cetti’s can. It was more exciting on the Congresbury section where a Great White Egret put in an appearance and shortly after a Shoveler flew over. It is possible that this species is nesting locally.

Great white egret near Congresbury by Dr Peter Grainger.

Marsh Harriers were seen over Mendip Road on two occasions in early June probably non breeding young birds from the increasing population on the Somerset Levels heading north. On the 15th a relatively late date, a Cuckoo was calling near Kingston Seymour, the only one that I have heard locally this year.

Emily noted several Siskins in Goblin Combe, Cleeve, an interesting record in late June and then parties of House Martins over Little River. Steam trains and birds often seem to go together and half a dozen Swifts flew over Yatton station as a steam train passed and then a daytime Tawny Owl hooted from the direction of the Strawberry Line.

There was another even later Cuckoo record when one was calling on the 26th near to the Kenn Moor Reserve. This is a very late, in fact probably a record late date, indeed most Cuckoos would have left the UK on their return migration by then. Finally a picture of Bee eaters (Britain’s most beautiful bird?) from Mark Savage. Taken from an RSPB viewpoint near Cromer whist he was on holiday. Sadly it seems that their first nesting attempt has failed but the omens look good for a second try, fingers crossed.

Bee-eaters at Trimmingham near Cromer, Norfolk (25 June 2023) by Mark Savage
Detail of Bee-eater from photo above by Mark Savage

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