This morning Kim and I headed to the Hodder Valley to ring the remaining brood of Pied Flycatcher chicks. After all the carnage last weekend we kept our fingers crossed that they would have survived and they had as we were greeted with a box of seven large, healthy chicks that were duly ringed!
We then headed down the hill to the Fylde to meet Huw at some good friend's of ours farm, Robert and Diana, to check some more boxes and do a bit of birding. Both Robert and Diana do some fantastic work for conservation on their farm and they are very supportive of our ringing activities there, and we are most grateful for this. First up were two big boxes; one in the orchard and the other near the pond, and both had incubating Stock Doves in. The box in the barn contained two adult Barn Owls, but no sign of any chicks. It is likely that the adults were roosting in the box whilst some large young were in another location on the farm.
The Kestrel box had a female Kestrel in residence either incubating eggs or brooding small young. The beauty of this box is that you can see in it from a distance and therefore don't have to disturb the adults to check the activity.
Tree Sparrows were active in all of the hedgerows and in the woodland were singing Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler. The scrape held a single Little Ringed Plover and House Martins, Sand Martins and Swifts all hawked for insects above the pool. I look forward to returning to hopefully ring the Kestrel chicks and do some regular birding throughout the rest of the year.
Family Update! - Things have been extremely difficult since mother left hospital and that's putting it mildly. Vivien and I don't have a clue what we are doing or supposed ...
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