Despite my optimism that the May passage was going to be late this year, the bald truth is that we're very much in June now with the corresponding lack of bird diversity. I've been dutifully visiting the Meadow all week but it's been the same birds on each occasion. The 1s LITTLE GULL is still around with an increasing number of other gulls and there is even starting to be some sort of gull roost in the evenings though they're almost all black-headed gulls with just one or two larger gulls. There is still just one juvenile black-headed gull about on the floods. I don't know if this means that it's been a very poor breeding year for them or whether it's just a bit early for them still. On the duck front the two SHELDUCK and the male RED-CRESTED POCHARD are both still about as well as the gadwall, a few shoveler and a single wigeon, all starting to go into eclipse. There's even been a drake TUFTED DUCK and a pair of great-crested grebes, testament to the number of fish that must be trapped in the flood waters. The vast herd of mute swans is still about (Sydney Penner counted 58 on one occasion) and there are plenty of coots and mallards about as well. When the weather is bad the swifts are always very entertaining to watch as they swoop by often only inches away.
You can tell that it's June as my photographic offerings are all butterflies and moths this week. Unfortunately they've all been taken with my point and shoot camera and so aren't particularly good quality.
Common Marbled Carpet moth
Common Heath moth
Small Heath butterfly with two spider friends
We should be starting to get the summer butterflies in Burgess Field soon which will offer some distraction for a while. On a more postive note, the full state of the floods and the fact that the forecast is for more showers up until the middle of July should at least mean that the floods will be around for the start of the return wader passage. Given how poor things have been this spring I'm really looking forward to it.