2nd June

So here we are in June at the start of the summer birding doldrums. Actually with the floods having dried up so early this year it's felt like that for at least the last month. Still there have been a few additions to the year list to mention. Interestingly enough three of them have all been "heard-only" and it just goes to emphasise how important listening is as part of bird "watching". 

The first was a CUCKOO which Mary MacDougall heard calling away in Burgess Evening one evening. Somehow each year we manage to get at least one record of this increasingly scarce summer visitor. In fact last week I did think I heard another calling very distantly from out of my open bedroom window but it was just too far away to be sure.

The second record was also heard from out of my bedroom window. This time it was the distinctive call of a RING-NECKED PARAKEET. Now that these colourful Parrots are breeding in the University Parks I expect that we shall have more occasional fly-overs in our air space.

The third record is of an elusive male SEDGE WARBLER which has taken up residence in the Trap Grounds behind the pool in front of the screen. The song is subtly different from that of a Reed Warbler being more animated and less "conversational" and as it's more in deep scrub rather than reeds that it's singing from I'm happy enough to say that it's this species though should I eventually get to see it (not luck with that so far) it's possible that I'll have to retract this tick.

Finally, we had an exciting record from Nick Boyd of a fly-over COMMON CRANE up at the Wolvercote end a few days ago. This is probably one of the Slimbridge release scheme birds but Nick says that it was too dark at the time to see if it had leg rings and given the paucity of ticks about I'm happy to take it!

Azure Damselfly, courtesy of Nicola Devine

Four-spotted Chaser courtesy of Nicola Devine

Hairy Hawker courtesy of Nicola Devine