It's been one of those weeks - certainly not summer, although there was the one day when we were able to get out and check the farm buildings for swallow nests. We have had 48mm of rain this week (that's just under 2 inches) and the wind has gusted at 35 mph. During the odd, relatively calm, early mornings I have opened the nets in the garden with a modicum of success. On a couple of mornings there has even been a grass frost! At this time of the year, nearly all of the new birds are recently hatched juveniles, that are either coming to easy pickings at the feeders or dispersing through the site.
Non juveniles ringed were a fat (male) Woodpigeon and the male Pied Wagtail of the pair nesting in the old mill race in a garden opposite; 'mum' was caught last week, also feeding on the lawn. On Tuesday, the best day of the week, we recce'ed the local farm outbuildings and managed to ring some Swallows. One brood, the offspring of the first pair to return back six and a half weeks ago, was in the process of fledging and beat us to it.
|Young Swallows on the point of fledging|
The pair of Bullfinches that are nesting somewhere behind the bottom garden hedge are becoming regular visitors to the sunflower hearts' feeder as dawn breaks and are clearly visible from the kitchen window.
Our efforts this week yielded the following 17 new and 10 re-traps:
Blue Tit 2 (1)
Great Tit 2
Wren (2) - nesting pair
Blackbird 1 (2)
Robin 1 (1)
House Sparrow 2
Pied Wagtail 1
|Adult male Barn Swallow|
With three weeks of June now gone, our rainfall total so far this month is 5.25 inches or 134mm. This is two and a half times the norm for the whole month and quite a bit higher that we would expect in January, our wettest month. All this water is preventing us from accessing a woodland on the Levels which is situated on unexploited peat. Walking through this is almost as bad as going through a long established reed bed - hard work for old legs and very tiring. The forecast is for yet more of the wet stuff.