Bird News: May 2023

The early morning bird walk along the Strawberry Line and Congresbury Moor on the 1st attracted 25 attendees, and eventually we heard each of our seven regular warbler species in song, with most of them visible at times. One of our resident Kestrels and a couple of Skylarks put in appearances along with the usual suspects.

Male Cuckoo at Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve. Picture by Mark Savage

A Cuckoo was calling in the woodland above Cleeve, a rare event in our local area now and a Mistle Thrush was singing at Cadbury Hill. Four Reed Warblers have returned to nesting territories along Wemberham Lane with Cetti’s Warbler, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat singing more distantly.

Swifts appeared over Yatton during the ‘Coronation’ weekend and the counters at Littlewood were pleased to see a Treecreeper there, they have been more elusive in recent years. The Ravens have nested and have young, perhaps the reason that the Rooks have deserted. They (the Rooks) have moved across the fields to Decoypool Wood judging by the constant calling coming from there.

The 12th produced another or quite probably the same Cuckoo head in the early morning distant from the Strawberry Line at Congresbury. A walk around the Cleeve and Brockley lanes (22nd) produced three Yellowhammers and a singing Mistle Thrush of note. Meanwhile the trail cam picked up a Green Woodpecker In the Footmead Reserve.

Starling with young. Picture by Emily Lomas

Our Chestnut Park correspondent (also the trail camera operator) reports lots of Starlings, House Sparrows and House Martins on the estate and our Dormouse surveyor reports six Marsh Tit nests inn Dormouse boxes, in Kings Wood.

Red Kite. Picture by Emily Lomas

A pale Red Kite was circling over the south end of Yatton High Street on the 26th, a sunny blue sky day. Keep looking up, there are likely to be more in June. Also on the 26th, Great Spotted Woodpecker young were calling from a tree by the Kenn Moor Reserve gate and there were several birds busy feeding young in the Reserve. A Peregrine flying over was a bonus. The next day another Red Kite drifted low over Yatton station and the same or another was following grass cutting operations by Little River.

The third and final bird song walk (29th) covered the Strawberry Line at Congresbury and attracted 20 members and friends including two young and very keen naturalists which was very encouraging. Indeed the three events were supported by 60 people so we hope to repeat them next spring. We found six of the resident warbler species but Lesser Whitethroat eluded us. Two days later we found one quietly nesting on Congresbury Moor, one of the few that I have ever seen that didn’t disclose itself by singing.

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