It’s been a very dark start to the year but today a bit of sunshine to lift the spirits( not the liquid kind).
Brian has been having a few problems with his cattle escaping through the fallen fences and wandering down as far as the chalets at Earnsy Bay but this weekend he put a stop to their plans by putting them into the two fields.
The swan population on the long pond has settled at nine but it’s too many for some of the occupants and battles are constant. These skirmishes are very serious and sometimes end in a fatality, a few weeks ago, one was found dead on the side of the pond, part eaten, with the head missing, possibly a result of the above. One pair of swans are oblivious to the fighting. (H6P) see attached photo.
Number of birds at the feeders has been low over the last week but today they were back to normal. A Water Rail was a rare visitor this week, but the Carrion Crows are there every morning waiting for us to leave.
Another dry day but with a cool easterly breeze. Brian must have been up yesterday and opened the gate at the top of the long pond, cows were spread on both sides of the gate and not very happy,. lots of calling and wandering, then the penny dropped and we realised the calves were missing.
Took some photos of Blue Tits,Robin and Bullfinch, at the owl bench, and waterfowl on one of the small square ponds.
A beautiful sunrise this morning, couple of shots over the airfield and the new tower.
There are still a few swans about the number varies day to day.
Also a few Magpies and one caught on top of cow’s back.
The tides are fairly low this week, caught a few Oystercatchers resting at Earnse Bay.
Today we counted a total of 13 swans, two residents on the fishing pond, a single on the north square pond and a group of 10 on the long pond, one of the group had a number 4CPA, not previously recorded.
Yesterday we were talking to Roy, one of the bird recorders and after we mentioned the increase in the number of swans and their ring identities, he was very interested because he thought they were ones he had previously rung himself on Ormsgill reservoir.
When we have confirmation we will add it to the blog.
The swan numbers are now up to 15 including the resident pair, which are normally found on the fishing pond, all the others are usually on the long pond.
One pair are usually at the top end of the pond, one has a number H6P, which we know was tagged on Ormsgill reservoir in August 2011, the remainder are normally at the south end, and two numbers are 4CVS and 4BTC. All are Blue rings with White writing, see photos.
Brian has cut the fields, first time for three years, lets hope it encourages more variety of flowers next year.
One of the owl boxes was removed, to be replaced due to it’s poor condition, contained three eggs. The last time it was checked, before the camera stopped working, was 27th Sept last year. This is the second time Barn Owls have abandoned the nest.
The number of swans on the long pond grew to eight, not including the resident pair on the fishing pond.
A flock of about 400 Jackdaws flew over this morning, collective noun "Clattering" which is very appropriate.
We still are seeing Jays at the feeder, see photo with it’s favourite food.
This time of year is excellent for seeing fungi, and came across a colony yesterday.
There have been the odd couple of swans dropping in now and then but this weekend there were seven, and normally the resident pair just harass the visitors until they leave. This morning there was a truce, while they all fed, see photos.
It was reported to be the warmest October day for a few years and there were a few butterflies taking advantage, a few Small Copper on the reserve and in the garden, I counted 8 Red Admirals on one plant. Also a few Common Darter dragonfly were hunting through the swarms of insects.
Two young swans were paying a visit, could be from a previous brood, one on the fishing pond and one on the long pond , which proved to be a bad choice, as it was being harassed by the resident female, see photos.
Teal are now here,and in the early morning enjoy sitting around the edges of the various small islands in the long pond, to catch the warmth of the sun.
A Cormorant on the fishing pond had eaten too much this morning it was too heavy to take off, see photo.