Monday, 6 June 2011

Not following the script!

A rather dismal weekend but we did need the rain! A grey start again today but no wind after a breezy few days so good for some birding. Up at Pulpit Hill this afternoon I watched families of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Great Tits and Blackcaps all busily feeding youngster as they worked through the same group of trees. The Woodpeckers and Great Tits employed their contact or alarm calls to keep in touch but the male Blackcap frequently burst into full song, something I thought was reserved for territorial or mating performances? In the meantime a pair of Bullfinches were feeding their fledglings in the scrub below and not making a sound although the youngsters could probably have been heard from the the other side of the county! It was interesting to note that the fledgling male Blackcaps already had a shock of very black feathers on their heads!

Later I observed another Greater Spotted Woodpecker hopping between ant hills near Chequers Knap, probing for insects and other food. Isn't it Green Woodpeckers that should be doing this? But then I guess it would be rather boring if wildlife stuck to the textbook!

Its the Walking Festival Wild Orchid walk in the morning. With many orchids flowering very early and the dry spell detering others, I doubt if we will find many different species in flower tomorrow and certainly not the 10 that we have found in previous years! If you want to join the walk then there are still places and we are meeting at the Longdown Hill car park at 10am

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