Today is officially the first day of summer (that’s why it’s cold, windy and raining) and it also marks the next phase for my Patchwork Challenge. Last week I managed to find my final outstanding spring migrants (those I expect at least) with two calling Cuckoos on Tuesday and a pair of Blackcaps on Thursday. The latter had the decency to show very well indeed but alas this will probably go down as another year where my patch Cuckoo will be an audible tick only. They sounded so tantalisingly close as well but I’ve learnt from past experience that the sound of a Cuckoo can travel a very large distance indeed.
At least the sun has been out which made for welcome relief following our mostly grey weekend in the Peak District, and with it a whole host of fledglings have begun to emerge. First up on Thursday were a family group of Coal Tits and a young Dunnock, quickly followed by the sight of a Wren visiting its nest and two Mistle Thrushes doing likewise a little further up the valley. From the sounds of it the latter can’t be long from fledging and perhaps it’s for that reason that a Buzzard had decided to sit close by when I returned an hour or so later. Whatever the reason it was driving the adults mad yet the Buzzard had adopted a look of complete and utter ignorance. I warmed to it immediately.
Also out and about were a couple of Goldcrests, two pairs of Bullfinch, a flyover Yellowhammer and what seemed like the counties entire supply of Song Thrushes. It sounded as if every tree had one of these raucous individuals buried somewhere deep within, each doing its best to imitate every other resident species. Entertaining for sure but not ideal where you’re ears are trying to focus in on anything out of the ordinary.
Of course two new species this week (Cuckoo and Blackcap) means that I have stretched my tally yet further. There is a full list of the species I’ve seen on patch over the years here but for interest this is my full tally in 2015. Place your bets now on what will be my next addition as I genuinely have no idea.
|Red Kite||Tawny Owl||Grey Heron|
|Black-headed gull||Goldfinch||Grasshopper Warbler|
|Lesser black-backed gull||Bullfinch||Garden Warbler|
|Herring Gull||Meadow Pipit||Shelduck|
|Collared Dove||Stock Dove||Cuckoo|
|Song Thrush||Canada Goose|
|Great Tit||Grey Wagtail|
|Rook||Great Black-backed Gull|
|Pied Wagtail||Great Spotted Woodpecker|
2015: 68 / 2014: 64