Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Birding and cycling to work in London

Earlier this month I moved flat though my cycle to work route is much the same, if a little longer (100 miles/week), taking in Brent Reservoir and Regent's Park on the way. Currently stuck on 95 species for the year, I should break my modest target of 100 before Christmas. Additions have slowed now that summer is here though I should try and add some scarce London residents such as Little Egret before things pick up in the autumn. Click here for the full list so far. Here is a little photo project on one of my two-wheeled modes of transport:


Bird report for Kindrogan 10-17 June 2011

I've uploaded a bird report to my main site for Kindrogan FSC field centre 10-17 June with some excerpts and photos below: www.fssbirding.org.uk/kindrogantrip2011.htm

Click here for the Kindrogan website (Scotland’s National Centre for Excellence in Field Studies and Biodiversity Training)

Goosander Mergus merganser
Female with b/5 on the River Ardle, upstream of the field centre, on 14/06 (AW). Seven flew NW upstream over River Ardle on 13/06.

Red Grouse Lagopus scotica
One observed (by students only) on walk up Ben Vrackie on 13/06.

Ptarmigan Lagopus muta
One or more birds heard at the summit of Ben Vrackie in extremely low visibility on 13/06.

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
One to two roding along the main drive from dusk to dawn.

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Singing males heard at the field centre, Straloch, Glen Brerachan, Kindrogan Hill, Tullochcurran and Moulin. Singing from 03:39 on 14/06, 03:58 on 15/06, 03:39 on 16/06.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
Common in birch woodland in Glen Brerachan and Strathardle. Six singing males around the graveyard clearfell.

Dipper Cinclus cinclus
Pair present in territory at Kindrogan Bridge; adult on the tiny burn at Moulin Inn 13/06; juvenile on the River Ardle on 15/06; adult carrying food to young in the nest at Kirkmichael.

Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Two singing males in open birch slopes at the east end of Glen Brerachan on 16/6.

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Singing male on Ben Vrackie on 13/6.

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
Singing male at usual site on Ben Vrackie 13/6.

Grasshopper Warbler Acrocephalus naevia
Singing male in rank heather on Moulin-Ben Vrackie trail on 13/06; around a marshy stream with very small willows.

Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
Singing males at the walled garden, front lawn, Kindrogan Bridge, curling pond and Tullochcurran. Pair carrying food for young at the walled garden on 11/06. Singing from 03:48 on 13/06, 03:26 on 14/06, 03:44 on 15/06, 03:29 on 16/06.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
Better numbers than usual with 12+ singing mm between Enochdhu-Kindrogan Field Centre-Straloch. Singing from 03:56 on 14/06; 03:58 on 15/06, 03:57 on 16/06.

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
Singing male holding territory all week in open spruce forest (with larch/birch edge) at the East/West Balbald all week.

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Common this year with a minimum of 25 singing mm around the clearfell and restock on NE side of Kindrogan Hill; 15+ singing males between Kindrogan Bridge and West Lodge (including two at the walled garden). Singing from 03:34 on 14/06, 03:49 on 15/06, 03:38 on 16/06.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Common in coniferous areas. Three fledged broods observed around the field centre on 11/06; 2 singing male at Straloch on 16/06. Singing from 03:23 on 14/06, 03:37 on 15/06, 03:33 on 16/06.

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Pairs or singles noted at the field centre (3 territories), graveyard in clearfell, Enochdhu (2), East Lodge, curling pond (2), Balnald, Davan, West Lodge, East Lodge and eastern end of Glen Brerachan. Also noted at Moulin. Singing from 03:32 on 13/06, 03:48 on 14/06, 03:54 on 16/06.

Siskin Carduelis spinus
Abundant this year. Minimum of 15 at feeders on 12/06 including a juvenile being fed by an adult. Small flocks encountered elsewhere including 20+ in graveyard clearfell.

Lesser Redpoll Carduelis cabaret
Two over the curling pond on 13/06.

Crossbill Loxia curvirostra

Four over the curling pond on 13/06; 3 over East Lodge on 15/06.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chronology of the Dawn Chorus

I'm at Kindrogan FSC field centre in Perthshire in the Scottish Highlands this week on the usual Field Methods in Biology undergrad course. This morning I was up and out at 3am in time for the dawn chorus. The chronology (when song from each species is first heard) was as follows with all species singing in much the expected order before sunrise around 04:23.

03:03 Robin
03:08 Song Thrush
03:21 Blackbird
03:23 Goldcrest
03:26 Garden Warbler
03:24 Willow Warbler
03:39 Cuckoo
03:43 Chiffchaff
03:48 Spotted Flycatcher
03:54 Chaffinch
04:03 Wood Pigeon

Unusually for the first time since I began these crazy morning observations in 2003, this is the first year that no Wrens have been on territory at this site. They would be expected to kick in around 03:35.