Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Thistle Tweakers and Spinks

Although all the headlines this week, relating to our birds, have highlighted the worrying drop in the numbers of many of our summer visitors other common birds have also given conservationists concern.
During the period of 1967 to 2003 the number of Linnets in England fell by between 59 to 75%. It may be just a local trend this year but they seem to be doing really well round St Margaret's. Around the Paddock and on the Leas every available high perch seems to have a Cock Linnet sitting on top singing for all its worth.

He performs this duty with great enthusiasm, which is just as well as he takes little part in the other domestic operations, nest building, egg sitting, brooding and feeding etc.

Chaffinches have bucked this trend and over the same period their numbers have increased by around 32 %, although the rate has slowed down recently. They also seem to be doing we around Bockhill, their monotonous call is always in earshot and they are perched up everywhere. On the other hand the newly arrived Common Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats seem reluctant to show themselves. When they get into full swing the Common Whitethroat has an attractive song flight, but his relative will probably remain deep in cover.

Other Birds. A Short sea watch, peering into the gloomy mist revealed two Great Skuas, four Common Scoter, two Gannets, 20 Brent Geese and quite a few passing Sandwich Terns.
Still a some Siskins in the garden, but fewer than yesterday.

Mothing. Eleven moth of five species, nothing new for the year.

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