Talked to Chris on his way back this morning, we both reported not seeing a female Cuckoo or a Willow Warbler this year and then half and hour later, found both. The Cuckoo flew out of the willow trees opposite the feeders and settled on the steel post, see photo, the Willow Warbler was in the reed bed, opposite the path in the middle of the fishing pond.
Also came across a small flock of Eider Duck in the channel, made up of mostly males.
Yesterday we had a Jay visit the feeders and it certainly can knock the peanuts back.
This morning we had a good start, rounding up the cows back into the reserve, someone had left the new memorial gate open, Brian is going to fit a new lock.
There are a few Grasshopper Warblers about and one on top of the tip was giving a splendid display this morning, often when it starts to sing, the beak opens for a few seconds before the tune starts.
Also came across a pair of House Sparrows just at the start of the walk, don’t know what they were doing this far from buildings,maybe they know something we don’t and are getting in early to pick a plot.
Yesterday we heard our first Cuckoo, first in the willow trees near the feeders and then over towards the fields and lastly north of the third field. Over the past few years there have been sightings of Cuckoo but not actually calling and usually in the first two weeks of May. So this is early but it does coincide with the Meadow Pipits,it’s preferred choice of nest, as they are now nesting.
Birds have started nesting early this year, the swan is a month earlier than last year and in the park this morning a male Blackbird was feeding a very well developed young, see photo.
At the feeders, two adult robins arrived together and one took food off the table to feed to the other, could no catch the action on camera but managed a shot of one with food.
Only problem with the warm weather it brings out the wee little darlings (midges) , see photo
A couple of the Highland cows were having a good feed of the Willow tree blossom, it must be nectar !! according to the faces.
Checking the ponds this morning and found about 200 tadpoles in one of the new ponds, dug last year, same one that produced toadlets, hope this is a sign for more to come.
Yesterday, the place was alive with midges and a mix of Swallow, Sand Martin and House Martin were taking good advantage and feeding over the long pond, see shot of Sand Marting having a rest on fence.
18th April 2017
Lovely morning on Walney. Willow warblers everywhere and a chiffchaff singing in the willows by the south feeders.Saw my first whitethroat of the year, singing a bit near the ‘bird’ gate. Cutting through to the shore from there, the dunes were abuzz with small bees. I saw the same thing last April at Sandscale. They are plasterer bees and make nest holes in the sand ‘plastering’ the sides with a cellophane-like substance. There were lots of their holes already dug. The photos are not very good as they kept moving!
Art Gene held the opening yesterday, of their creation at the North End, no doubt full coverage will be in the local press this week or for more information log onto their site http://www.art-gene.co.uk/
As reported yesterday the cows have returned and are just being a pain, every time they are around the seat it becomes a rubbing post with consequences, see photos.
This weather is not only bringing a very warm, sunny and most of all dry welcome change, it’s fetching the first summer visitors. Last week it we had Sand Martins and today there was a single Sedge Warbler feeding on some Willow and further down the path, in the horse field, were a flock of Linnets.