Bird News: May 2024

Two Red Kites flew south over the Little River on the 5th, the first Yatton record for several weeks. On the same day three Siskins were still visiting a garden in Congresbury. The birdsong walk on the 6th produced the expected seven warbler species but Lesser Whitethroat was only heard distantly. Two pairs of Stonechats on Congresbury Moor are hopefully nesting or preparing to nest. This species is a very recent breeding colonist having been a winter only bird previously.

Three Swifts were high over the Strawberry Line, Yatton on the 7th during a survey walk when over 200 birds were recorded with 126 singing, record numbers for recent years. The next day three Swifts were over Horsecastle, Yatton and the observer had the bonus of a Red Kite at the same time. Further Red Kites were seen on the 11th and 12th with a Whinchat by Wemberham Lane following a thunderstorm on the 12th.

A Kingfisher was a welcome sighting on the river at Congresbury and a Sparrowhawk was seen with prey on the Strawberry Line there. Two singing Lesser Whitethroats were recorded there and a pair of Stonechats were still on territory on the Yatton section of the line on the 22nd. Goblin Combe hosted Nuthatch, Treecreeper and ten Coal Tits.

The bird survey at Littlewood Reserve on the 30th was notable for ten singing Blackcaps along with seven Chiffchaffs also in song. No sign of the Great Spotted Woodpecker again but a hover hunting Kestrel seen to fly off with prey on an adjacent field provided an encouraging conclusion to the survey. Jays were being reported in gardens at the month end, perhaps including some juveniles.

Finally a picture by Jon Thobroe of Avocets at Slimbridge.

Your sightings and pictures are always very welcome.

Trevor Riddle