Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ness Point mooch

Raindale near Ness Point - a likely spot for a scarce passerine, but not today

Spent the morning mooching about Ness Point, Robin Hood's Bay doing Atlas stuff and looking for a hoped for "good passerine".

Swallow and Whitethroat numbers seem to have picked up and the House Martin colony at Robin Hood's Bay seemed to have plenty of members. Swifts screaming around the upper part of the village as well.

Age the Chaffinch ... bit easier than last time I did this.

On the sea there were plenty of feeding Kittiwakes, Gannets, Guillemots and 1 Razorbill.

Bad driving maybe

Counting the Herring Gull and Fulmar colonies was exciting, balancing on the cliff edge to look in to all the corners.

The Atlas doesn't count Jackdaw as a colonial nesting species which - if I may say so - is a bit mad, or a bit southern. Figuring out how many pairs are in the Raindale cliff is not an easy task.

My own private hotbot Jackdaws have now got young. They nested in one of our chimneys with the fire going. I was going to prod them with my chimney cleaning set but in the end decided to shiver instead. Our builder will be fitting Jackdaw keep out defences on the chimney pot in the autumn. Young Jackdaws do make an excellent noise, I'll record it in a week or so when they really get going. The next thing will be they'll wake us up at dawn with their racket of course.

Butterflies about recently - Green-veined Whites for the last fortnight, Wall for the last week and Red Admiral the other day.

Plenty of Slow Worms in the garden and I found a newt under a rock yesterday - haven't quite figured out which species, I think Smooth, but I must check, it seemed to be rather small so perhaps in its first year. Also a mighty Common Frog also under a rock (I was moving stone about yesterday) and Bufo bufo is also present.

Smooth Newt I think, it was small though, about 5-6cm long

A Common Whitethroat has included our garden and house in its territory and is singing constantly, it's been here a week now. Cuckoo yesterday and Swallows are prospecting.

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