Bird News: June 2024

The meteorological first day of summer (June 1st) dawned sunny but two Cormorants on a pylon near the railway were Autumn birds! Both Common and Lesser Whitethroat sang briefly by Wemberham Lane. The earlier Springs mean that song diminishes sooner and most breeding birds just sing briefly and intermittently. Not so Skylarks, they continue until mid July and two were singing well towards the river at Wemberham.

Also on the 1st Emily counted 23 House Martins on Chestnut Park Estate.

The following day grass cutting on the big field adjoining the cycle path there attracted four Buzzards and a Red Kite. There were seven Swifts over Stowey Road and five at Cadbury Hill during the members meadow walk. On the 4th a Willow Warbler was a surprise singing in trees on Millennium Green, Congresbury. A Red Kite circled Cobthorn Reserve a couple of times during a visit by the Weston super Mare Archaeology and Natural History Society to the Reserve and surrounding area.

Emily came across a group of no less than six Treecreepers in Goblin Combe, almost certainly a family party on the 6th and a party of 15 Swifts were feeding high over Congresbury Moor on the same day. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen on Cadbury Hill on the 9th along with Marsh Tits and a Mistle Thrush. A Kestrel,was hover hunting over the entrance to our Cobthorn Reserve as the Festival of Nature event concluded also on the 9th and was seen over nearby houses a few days later. Also low over the houses on the 18th were three screaming Swifts with five more around the Causeway.

The final Littlewood bird survey recorded four singing Chaffinches there. This may not sound too exciting but it’s the best count for the species in the woods that I can remember. Still plenty of Blackcap and Chiffchaff song as there was on the last Strawberry Line surveys. A cycle around Cleeve and Brockley failed to turn up any Yellowhammers at their traditional sites. If any of our Cleeve or Claverham members spot or hear one please let me know. More Kites were seen over Yatton (three) and Congresbury.

By the 24th, Emily’s House Martin count at Chestnut Park had risen to a remarkable 45 birds with eight Swallows and a couple of Swifts. There should be some Barn Owl news next time but I can report four young Kestrels about to fledge on Congresbury Moor.

Your sightings and pictures are always very welcome.

Trevor Riddle