Saturday, 9 July 2016

Early July

The sun (and the heat) is back this week. This of course is a good thing (as they say in '1066 and All That') but it can make birding more difficult unless you make a very early start. I've had a minor op recently which means that I can't do my usual local bike rides until the end of this month with the consequence that I've spent more time in my garden. Twenty seven species made an appearance yesterday, the most interesting being spotted flycatcher, firecrest, whitethroat and melodious warbler all of which I have seen on several occasions during the last few weeks so I assume that they are breeding around the property. As with last year, the buildings and garden have also provided nesting sites for several other species including kestrel, black redstart, goldfinch, chaffinch, greenfinch, house sparrow, starling, wood pigeon, blackbird, blue tit and great tit.
Stone curlews obviously don't nest in my garden but I heard one calling from a nearby field late yesterday evening, and perhaps a little owl is nesting nearby as one making a bit of a noise in the garden during the early hours.
I have managed a couple of trips to the forest this week but can report nothing of special interest other than black woodpecker. ( I forgot to take any precautions when walking through an area of long grass while wearing shorts and found no fewer than four tics on my legs when I got home... So beware!)
The pair of red backed shrikes were still showing near the bio farm this week and I have caught a glimpse of the occasional golden oriole but several of our summer visitors such as hoopoes seem to be very unobliging (I blame the sun).

As a PS, I recommend the Charente Nature website as a source of info about local birds. It's in French of course but it is updated daily and allows you to upload your own sightings as well as being to access those of others. It's free, you just need to register.

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