Bird News: September 2022

There was a good passage of Wheatears and Whinchats at the beginning of the month, mostly observed by the Hinkley Connect haul road sites by the River Yeo, Wemberham Lane and Kenn Moor. Wheatear numbers peaked at eight and Whinchat five but probably 20 Wheatears and a dozen Whinchats were involved in total. Hopefully this indicates a productive breeding season for these species. The site of the (huge) temporary bridge by the River Yeo also produced eight Yellow Wagtails on associated fence posts. Interestingly four Yellow Wagtails were heard over Mendip Road, Yatton on the previous day with a single Grey Wagtail on another occasion.

Wheatear. Photo by Emily Lomas
Yellow Wagtails by the River Yeo. Photo by Jon Thobroe
Enlarged section of previous photo: Yellow Wagtails by the River Yeo. Photo by Jon Thobroe

Both Great White and Little Egrets were on Kenn Moor with a Kingfisher on the river. Five Mistle Thrushes were also observed, with Jays in Littlewood. Every field with thistles seemed to host big flocks of Goldfinches with 100+ at Wemberham Lane. The Buzzards there have two young calling incessantly and mid month four Kestrels were seen. Sparrowhawks tend to be in gardens but two were circling over the old railway bridge and the Peregrine appeared on the pylons at times. A member saw a Hobby take a dragonfly over Yatton.

Two Lapwings were chased away from the big maize field where they or others had nested in the summer by Carrion Crows and there were two Green Sandpipers by the Yeo towards Phipps Sluice. In Wemberham Lane there were a number of Kingfisher sightings twice involving two birds. Swallows numbered up to 30 but with just a couple at the month end.

Starlings, House Sparrows and House Martins were all reported in good numbers on the new estates in North Yatton attracting regular Sparrowhawk visits. A flock of 200 Starlings were using the pylons at the month end.

Recycled plastic Owl boxes at Congresbury Moor by Jon Thobroe

At the beginning of the month two young volunteers, Henry and Joe joined us to survey and clean out the Owl boxes on Congresbury Moor. The two boxes in 10 Acres were life expired and at the month end were replaced with new recycled plastic boxes, as shown in the picture. Thanks to our contractor Andrew Hunt and volunteer Jon Thobroe for erecting these. The new boxes are accepted by Barn Owls and should have a longer life than traditional wooden boxes.

In the last week of September four Cormorants were seen in flight by the River Yeo, with two or three Kestrels nearby, a few Meadow Pipits and another big Goldfinch flock. A small party of Chaffinches was by the Strawberry Line after an absence for a couple of months. Similarly ten Greenfinches appeared in Wemberham Lane.

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