August Update

I had meant to do a post at the end of July but somehow I never got around to it. So this will be an update over the last two months. Not that there is much to report: this time of year is always rather quiet thought there is still usually something to see.

Starting with birds and the Little Owl family hung around for a fair while, gradually dispersing further away from their original location. It's good to know that they've had another successful year. 

A rather blurry Little Owl, taken at dusk

Talking of successful breeding, the Egyptian Geese have done well: I recently counted a total of 12 birds, a mix of adults and young so the Port Meadow colony is growing rapidly! We had yet another Crossbill flyover over Jericho though this was only a "possible". There was also a flyover Peregrine on one occasion as well.

One of several Egyptian Goose family groups

Autumn is now very much upon us in the bird world. Without any flood waters we have to rely on the river shoreline for wader sightings which tends only to pull in Common Sandpipers rather than any other species. Still we had up to 7 of these in the King's Lock area as well as one or two others near the Perch area. 

A Common Sandpiper along the river north of the Perch

We also had another Redstart in Burgess Field as well as a Spotted Flycatcher. The first Yellow Wagtails of autumn have started to appear in amongst the livestock on the Meadow. Finally we had three Whinchat up near Hagley Pool past King's Lock a few days ago. This is actually a year tick for us.

The Redstart courtesy of Matthew Lloyd

Onto flowers and I have to report that, contrary to what I stated in my previous post, there were in fact some Pyramidal Orchids in Burgess Field which Mary MacDougal managed to find. It's nice to know that they somehow managed to flower despite the very dry conditions. 

One of the Pyramidal Orchids, well past its best

I've been visiting the Trap Grounds regularly over the last couple of months looking out for the Odonata there. We've had Souther Hawker, Brown Hawker and Migrant Hawker as well as Common and Ruddy Darters. The Small Red-eyed Damselflies finally turned up midway through August though we have yet to have any Willow Emeralds. In previous years they have often not turned up until September so it's certainly possible that they will start to appear shortly.

A Trap Grounds Migrant Hawker

The usual butterflies have been around. Whilst there tends not to be much change in what species appear each year it's always nice to see them. 

A Ringlet in the Trap Grounds

Finally, still on the insect front, Andrew Siantonas managed to find up to 7 Glow Worms in Burgess Field in July. It's good to know that they were around again this year.

Looking ahead now that we are heading into September we should get the peak passerine autumn passage. This should hopefully include more Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers. We can also hope for some chats and maybe even a Tree Pipit. The Yellow Wagtail flock should hit peak numbers this month and it is always worth rummaging through them for something rarer. Beyond that we really need to hope for a very wet month so that we can start to get some more flood waters.

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