Bird News: late May 2022

Firstly some news from early May when Hobbies were seen over Yatton on the 2nd and the 8th. These would be passage birds heading to their nesting territories.There was a remarkable record of a nocturnal calling Moorhen on two consecutive nights over Yatton mid month and an unusual record of a Shelduck flying over the village.

Peregrine. The bird seen distantly on the Easy access walk. Picture by Mark Savage.

The Peregrine was back on the pylon (14th) just south of the railway and there seemed to be a few more Swallows around the stables in Wemberham Lane. They were in company with lots of Goldfinches, a few Greenfinches, with Reed Bunting and Whitethroat singing nearby On the same day a Kestrel, three Hares and the regular warbler species were active around the Congresbury section of the Strawberry Line.

The Yatton section of the line went one better with a Spotted Flycatcher. A party of 26 House Martins was hawking over the Chestnut Park Estate on the 18th, a very encouraging number indeed.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers had active nests in Littlewood and two by Wemberham Lane. A late Wheatear was at the latter site (21st) with the regular male Peregrine on a pylon. A Tawny Owl has been seen on a couple of surveys in Littlewood and it’s alarm calls suggested that there were unseen Owlets nearby.

The Cuckoo has been heard sporadically from Congresbury but not as far as I am aware in Yatton or on Congresbury Moor. A sad reflection of the continuing decline of Cuckoos in Southern England- they are prospering in upland areas and particularly in Scotland.

A Cuckoo not calling ( probably a female) was reported from Congresbury Moor on the 22nd and on the same day a Red Kite drifted over Yatton overflying a party of Swifts. The following day a male Cuckoo was at Congresbury again. A Sparrowhawk in The Wood Kilns has been scattering birds on the feeder some of which panic and fly into a window and the Sparrowhawk collects them from the ground. So if you experience this, please put markers on your window. Also on the 23rd a Redstart was on the Strawberry Line near the mosaic seat, a late migrant.

Red Kite over Yatton by Mark Savage

The easy access walk along Wemberham Lane was a pleasant occasion with a very distant Peregrine; he was even further away than usual. The Buzzard was more obliging and a hunting Kestrel completed a trio of raptors. Small birds were in short supply but several House Martins and Swallows were active and participants were able to view the YACWAG owl box in the hay barn. On the same day 200 Starlings were feeding on Kenn Moor Reserve; there must have been lots of invertebrates there.

A female Tawny Owl was calling in Congresbury ( 25th) and the Cuckoo was reported calling regularly from the Golf Course the same day. We didn’t hear it on the 26th but a Little Owl was calling from the Solar Farm. More unexpected was an Egyptian Goose flying across the Strawberry Line by Mendip Spring. The warbler song was muted but three Bullfinches were calling at separate territories between Silver Street Drove and the Solar Farm.

Bullfinch by Mark Savage

Four Swifts over their traditional Wakedean Gardens nesting site on the 27th was welcome but numbers seem to be continuing to decline. Not so Reed Warblers still singing across the YACWAG area. Two Cormorants on a pylon on Kenn Moor indicated that for these birds Autumn had arrived! However, a pair of Siskins on a Yatton feeder suggested that they didn’t think that Spring had arrived yet.

The lovely sunny weather on the 28th.produced two Red Kites ( see photo of one) over Mendip Road and then a possible Honey Buzzard over Wemberham Lane. Having had my binoculars out in the garden with me naturally when this raptor drifted over they were in the house! The next day three more Kites passed over so there was obviously quite a passage.

Male Siskin by Jon Thobroe

The Congresbury Moor survey on the last day of the month produced eight species of warbler, the Willow Warbler was still singing a short version of its song and a male Stonechat was by New Rhyne. The highlight was a Peregrine on a pylon being mobbed by a Hobby. The Peregrine took absolutely no notice and the Hobby flew off.

Thanks to everyone who has provided sightings, the more I receive the more I can include.

All the best,


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