Monday, December 27, 2010

Bittern on frozen ditch, taken from tractor

This kestrel was in attendance at a large fire site that i was burning with the aid of tractor and front-loader. It realised that when i was moving large some root stocks small rodents would run out. It took a couple of hours to catch its first field vole which it did by running along the ground and through some branches at lightning speed, the second vole it caught approx one meter distance from my feet and another by dashing under the moving tractor only to come out the other side with its prize!

Monday, December 20, 2010

One of 21 wild male corncrakes that returned to the Nene Washes in Cambridgeshire in 2010, great encouragement for the re-introduction scheme. Also of note were two males that were three years old and a female that was four years old (the oldest known wild corncrake ever re-trapped in the UK and probably the world! Most wild corncrakes only live for around 1 year with the 3/4 of the breeding population made up of 1 year old birds (2CY).

Common crane bred for the first time, the first breeding in the cambridgeshire fens since they were extirpated in the 1600's

A great Egret in full breeding plumage visited breifly in May.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mondays WeBS count was promising to be spectacular due to excellent conditions on Eldernell Wash and the March Farmers land that is shallowly flooded grassland mixed with arable weeds. The following totals of wigeon and Teal blew the long standing records out of the water!
Wigeon 22,571 Previous record 13533
teal 9012 Previous record 4000
Pintail 2400
Mallard 898
Gadwall 144
Bewick's swan 947
Whooper swan 299
Taiga Bean Goose 3
Crane 2
Icelandic Black tailed godwit 2220
Also the pair of peregrines continue to reside at Eldernell and the imm female on the Low wash.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stonechat feeding association!

This stonechat has recently spent whole days with me whilst working on the corncrake pens, often approaching to within 4 metres. He finds worms and various insects from the soil that I am changing from within the pens. He will even come in through the door to investigate, so I have to ensure its closed when i leave!

March Farmers spectacular

Common cranes

sky full of wigeon, pintail and 1000 black tailed godwits

Bewicks swans, up to 1300 present, mostly feeding on washland grass, a nice change from winter wheat and oilseed crops.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bean Geese

Classic Tundra Bean Goose with short necks, triangular and very stout bill with text-book orange marking on bill.

Birds showing more orange on bill makes the impression/illusion that the bill is longer.

5 Bean Geese on March Farmers, 2 had what I would desribe as normal rossicus bill pattern and the other 3 more towards fabalis type. Build wise they are definately Rossicus (Tundra). General field guides do not show these bill variarions.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

spoony visited the washes last week, favouring a shallow ditch alongside 15 little egrets.
Skylark nest, just hatched out, the punkiest chicks i've ever seen.
Corncrake release's continue
Returning males increased to 12-14 , which is a major leap in the project so far. Calling patterns also indicate that birds are doing what they should be with lots of second phase territories being set up. Its vital that females breed twice to produce enough young to set-up a sustainable population, this means delaying mowing in their chosen fields until mid-August.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Montagu's harrier, male briefly on fence post and flying off north.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Good signs of progress with the re-introduction of corncrakes to the Nene Washes with up to 10 returning males now heard singing on site.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tha business end of spring - chick rearing

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Returning male corncrake