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Old Saturday 24th June 2017, 17:30   #33951
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Andrews View Post
In what is a traditionally quiet time of year, June's list has crawled to 71 species at the month's midpoint. Potential additions for the remainder of June include:

Little Egret
,
Little egret made a brief appearance this morning, got mobbed by BHG's and sulked off North end of moors, sat there couple of minutes and then slipped away unnoticed.
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Old Saturday 24th June 2017, 17:35   #33952
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Red-crested pochard 2day...
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Old Saturday 24th June 2017, 23:22   #33953
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Moors
Red-crested Pochard showing well this evening, snoozing close inshore on the west side. A single 2s Med Gull perched briefly on the rails in front of the concrete hide- compared to the birds seen later, this was probably a 3rd bird to the resident pair on primary pattern.
Sadly no activity around the nest and no sign of the chicks. Seems stranger considering how advanced they were. Hopefully the heat last week didn't get them?
No sign of any GCG or L.Grebe chicks. 2 Kingfisher active at the south end of the pool. 2 Shelduck dropped in briefly. 1 Lapwing and 4(+at least 1) Oystercatchers. 1 Cormorant.

Sailing Pool
1 Egyptian and 2 Greylag Goose

Flashes
4 Med Gulls (2ad +2 2s) + the chick developing well. Blackwit feeding with the Avocets at the back of the flashes, 2 Green Sandpipers 2 drake Teal, 3 Shoveler and 6 LRP (1 grown juv). 1 Curlew flew north. 3 Lapwing
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Old Sunday 25th June 2017, 12:25   #33954
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Red-crested Pochard still at the Moors Pool and Black-tailed Godwit still at the Flashes as per Clive Lee via WorcesterBirding
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Old Monday 26th June 2017, 07:08   #33955
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Red-crested Pochard still at the Moors Pool as per Andy A
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Old Monday 26th June 2017, 14:27   #33956
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Blackwit still at the flashes today, also 2 Green Sand, Med Gull + juvenile, female shoveler with 6 fairly well grown ducklings on 3rd flash. Also male Redstart on fence to right of the sewage works gate. Fairly distant but seen occasionally perching up then dropping down to feed in the grass.
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Old Monday 26th June 2017, 20:24   #33957
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Not been down for a lengthy session for a while so today...

Moors 0630-1215...

Avocet (4)
Blackcap (4f 1m)...NM
Cetti's Warbler (3)
Collared Dove (2)
Common Tern (8 + 2 young)
Coot (58)
Cormorant (1)
Gadwall (3)
Goldcrest (4)...NM
GC Grebe (2)
Greylag (4)
House Martin (6)
Kingfisher (1)
Lapwing (7)
LBB Gull (7)
Little Grebe (3)
Mute Swan (11)
Oystercatcher (3 + juvenile)
Red-crested Pochard
Swift (c40)
Treecreeper (3 together on NM)
Tufted (8)

Sailing Pool...

Egyptian Goose

Flashes 1300-1900...

Avocet (c40)
Black-tailed Godwit (1)
Curlew (7)
Green Sandpiper (2)
Lapwing (c25)
LRP (2 + juvenile)
Med Gull (1 + chick)
Oystercatcher (2)
Peregrine (1)
Shoveler (1 f)
Starling (c6)
Teal (1m 1f)

...no further sign of male Redstart reported earlier

...60 species in total
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Old Monday 26th June 2017, 21:58   #33958
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This evening at the Moors Pool Dave J noted:

Eclipse male Red-crested Pochard, adult Mediterranean Gull briefly, 11 Mute Swan, Gadwall + 2 broods totalling 9 young (4:5), Common Tern + 2 young (1:1), first Tufted Duck brood of the summer (with 5 young), Oystercatcher (+ 2 young)
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Old Monday 26th June 2017, 22:45   #33959
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Last Friday & Saturday:

1. 2 oystercatchers and chick
2. Young heron
3. Adult heron
4. Mediterranean gull chick going walkabout
5. Mediterranean gull chick stretching. Feather buds developing well.

Peregrine still at very top of mast Saturday.
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Old Monday 26th June 2017, 22:51   #33960
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Last Friday & Saturday:

1. Ringlet butterfly (male & female by cuckoo hide)
2. Peacock caterpillar (west path Moors)
3. Black-tailed skimmer male (west path by bittern channel - a few briefly)
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Old Monday 26th June 2017, 22:57   #33961
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A couple of warblers from North Moors today...
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Old Tuesday 27th June 2017, 18:02   #33962
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Something that didn't require carrying a long lens and tripod! Thank goodness.
(Moors Pool area last week)
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Old Tuesday 27th June 2017, 21:03   #33963
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12 hours on the Reserve today

spent nearly 3 hours on the North Moors.
This is by far the most productive I have seen this section of the reserve regarding passerines. The east screen was the pick of viewpoints. Warblers were feeding young
while others were singing mostly sedge and reed. But in all there were 7 species. A late visit was equally productive she I found the shoveler and the remnants of her brood.
species count North Moors : Shoveler fem +2 ch. tufted pr. water rail. Grey heron. great spotted w x2. kingfisher. swallow 3. mistle thrush. song thrush 3 singing. reed warblers 20. sedge warbler 3 singing + 2 broods. Cetti's. whitethroat family. lesser whitethroat juv. chiffchaff 3 singing. blackcap several families and 2 singing. chaffinch the only pair I have located this year. greenfinch. bullfinch 3. goldfinch. goldcrest 2. Reed bunting several singing.

MOORS: Mostly about breeding survey tying up the loose ends. So far it's been a disappointing season but still chance for things to improve. The Red crested Pochard continued to feed on blanket weed which it regularly dived for in the middle of the pool. The common terns are holding their own. But today the largest chick had not been fed in the 4 hours I was in the East hide. It was getting desperate and tried begging off the other chicks parent, this resulted in it receiving a severe beating which would have killed a smaller chick. I thought it had been abandoned but one of its patents did return 'fishless' and stood next to it. . Another event of the day was the appearance of the otter - not unusual you may say but after all the coot and ducks had swam away from it, strangely the family of little grebes swam towards it. Even more bizarrely one of the chicks swam with a few feet of it while the rest of family stayed back..Almost as if it was a sacrificeal offering, luckily the otter ignored it. The only wader surviving is an oystercatcher.
Species count MOORS :
Mute swan 11. GCG 2. Little grebe 6 + 2 ch. Red crested pochard . Gadwall well town brood of 4 and a brood of 6 small chicks. Teal. tufted brood of 5. Cormorant 3. Oystercatcher 4 +1 chick. Lapwing 4. Common tern 10 (1:1 chicks plus 3 sitting ). Med BHG hybrid. sparrowhawk 2. Buzzard. stock dove 4. kingfisher. Great spotted w. swift 30. swallow 3. house martin 35. song thrush 4. Cetti's brood of 2 chicks. plenty of reed and sedge warbler. coal tit.

FLASHES :
The Flashes were rapidly drying out and we need rain desperately. There were 2 new broods of Avocet today both singles and both females continued to incubate - on SE spot and Pipe island. These were the 14th & 15th broods, unfortunately the 13th brood of 1 along the meadow was lost and 1 of the 2 on the west side of meadow was also lost. So we are still on 24 chicks.
The Med chick still contin use to grow. Also on the positive side the shoveler female was still with her 6 chicks on 3rd Flash. But waders were now finished with breeding. The 2nd caged LRP had abandoned her nest and only 3 bird remained.

Species count Flashes :
Shoveler fem +6 . Teal 2. Tufted pr. Greylag 3.
Avocet 46 ads + 24. chicks ( 14. broods). LRP 3. oystercatcher 2. lapwing 15.. Green sand. Med Gull 2+ chick.
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Old Tuesday 27th June 2017, 23:08   #33964
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The 2nd caged LRP had abandoned her nest and only 3 bird remained.
.
Yesterday I observed one LRP sitting again and perform a change over with the other adult...
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Old Tuesday 27th June 2017, 23:34   #33965
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Pictures from Tuesday

First picture from The Moors, in front of the West Hide, remainder from The Flashes.
The intruder in the second picture had several attempts at getting lunch. It managed to land briefly on one of the islands, but it wasn't clear as to whether it had succeeded in grabbing anything. It didn't appear to carry anything off.
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2017, 11:10   #33966
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caged BHG's at Flashes ???

This is a picture to summarise the answer to the above question

The birds were 'released' (on 3rd June at 5am) unharmed and healthy as they were being fed through the cage by their parents.
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2017, 18:58   #33967
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upstarts1979 View Post
FLASHES :
The Flashes were rapidly drying out and we need rain desperately. There were 2 new broods of Avocet today both singles and both females continued to incubate - on SE spot and Pipe island. These were the 14th & 15th broods, unfortunately the 13th brood of 1 along the meadow was lost and 1 of the 2 on the west side of meadow was also lost. So we are still on 24 chicks.
John,

Have the increased numbers of Avocets this year, and the alterations made to the land layout, resulted in any changes in the choice of nesting and feeding areas? Also are the clutch sizes the same?

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Old Wednesday 28th June 2017, 21:19   #33968
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John,

Have the increased numbers of Avocets this year, and the alterations made to the land layout, resulted in any changes in the choice of nesting and feeding areas? Also are the clutch sizes the same?

Peter
There are several things at play with the Avocets this year Peter. Whether as a result of habitat changes, lower water levels or even the increase in their numbers as well as an increase in BHG's I'm not sure but things are different.
First of all there is an increase in breeding Avocets up from 17 breeding pairs in 2016 to at least 22 pairs this year.

Over the last 35 years I have been thoroughly monitoring all aspects of the breeding cycle of all the waders at the Flashes. Our avocets are probably the most studied in the Country - thanks to Mike, Des, Dave J and Phil. We have details on nest site, incubation period, chicks hatched , survival rate and feeding zones and even behavioural patterns, etc etc. I digress .

Nest Sites:
This year many nests have been in the meadow in fact 10 nests in all. This is probably as a result of pressure by BHG saturating previously prime Avocet nesting islands. But also it is accommodating the new influx of breeding birds. Many of these were probably the non-breeders from last year.
Another well used area is in front of the hide. Here at least 8 nesting attempts were made. These mainland sites are as a result of the Fox fencing doing its job. In the early years only islands were used for nesting. But BHG have albut taken the islands and only 5 nests were on islands this year but not very successfully.

Feeding Zones: There are 10 feeding Zones most in front and either side of the hide. But only 2 along the meadow shore , where the highest mortality has been this year. Due to predators, too much pressure from neighbouring avocets or too small a feeding area to sustain growth of chicks I am not sure. But very few proportionately of the chicks are surviving. It could also be due to low water levels being too muddy with little amounts of food.
Another frequently used area in the past was along the eastern shore of 2nd Flash. But this has been totally ignored this year and I would suggest that the stock fencing is the only reason for this.

Brood size:
Although we have many more pairs these days this does not mean we get more chicks. This year's brood sizes have been on average the lowest ever. This could be due to parents abandoning incubation of the whole clutch rather than fewer eggs being laid. I have noticed on several occasions sitting birds leaving un-hatched eggs to help the other parent defend the 1st hatched chick. The threats could be from LBBG, buzzards or even neighbouring avocets attacking the chicks. While unatended eggs have been stolen by coots and moorhens. The pressure on the new chicks sometimes forces the parents to cut their losses and take what they've got resulting in small broods.

I hope this answers some of your questions Peter and next time I see you I will elaborate
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2017, 22:04   #33969
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Today's highlights:

FLASHES/ SAILING POOL*
Green Sand (2)-------------LRP (6) including visiting juv.
Oystercatcher (2)-----------Lapwing (24)
Redshank (1)----------------Avocet (46) + 24 young.
Curlew (11)------------------Shoveler (f) + 6 chicks on 3rd flash.
Gadwall (4)------------------Med Gull (ad) + 1 young bird.
House Martin (c20)----------Egyptian Goose*
G C Grebe (2)*--------------Teal (4)
Buzzard (2) sitting in wait.

MOORS/ N MOORS*
Shoveler*(f) + 2 chicks-----Common Tern (6) + 1:1 young.
Water Rail (1)----------------Oystercatcher (3) + 1 young bird.
Mute Swan (11)--------------Red Crested Pochard.
Gadwall (8) inc 4 young-----Cormorant (1)
Swift (c40)--------------------Tufted Duck (brood of five)


Des.
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2017, 23:55   #33970
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There are several things at play with the Avocets this year Peter. Whether as a result of habitat changes, lower water levels or even the increase in their numbers as well as an increase in BHG's I'm not sure but things are different.
First of all there is an increase in breeding Avocets up from 17 breeding pairs in 2016 to at least 22 pairs this year.

Over the last 35 years I have been thoroughly monitoring all aspects of the breeding cycle of all the waders at the Flashes. Our avocets are probably the most studied in the Country - thanks to Mike, Des, Dave J and Phil. We have details on nest site, incubation period, chicks hatched , survival rate and feeding zones and even behavioural patterns, etc etc. I digress .

Nest Sites:
This year many nests have been in the meadow in fact 10 nests in all. This is probably as a result of pressure by BHG saturating previously prime Avocet nesting islands. But also it is accommodating the new influx of breeding birds. Many of these were probably the non-breeders from last year.
Another well used area is in front of the hide. Here at least 8 nesting attempts were made. These mainland sites are as a result of the Fox fencing doing its job. In the early years only islands were used for nesting. But BHG have albut taken the islands and only 5 nests were on islands this year but not very successfully.

Feeding Zones: There are 10 feeding Zones most in front and either side of the hide. But only 2 along the meadow shore , where the highest mortality has been this year. Due to predators, too much pressure from neighbouring avocets or too small a feeding area to sustain growth of chicks I am not sure. But very few proportionately of the chicks are surviving. It could also be due to low water levels being too muddy with little amounts of food.
Another frequently used area in the past was along the eastern shore of 2nd Flash. But this has been totally ignored this year and I would suggest that the stock fencing is the only reason for this.

Brood size:
Although we have many more pairs these days this does not mean we get more chicks. This year's brood sizes have been on average the lowest ever. This could be due to parents abandoning incubation of the whole clutch rather than fewer eggs being laid. I have noticed on several occasions sitting birds leaving un-hatched eggs to help the other parent defend the 1st hatched chick. The threats could be from LBBG, buzzards or even neighbouring avocets attacking the chicks. While unatended eggs have been stolen by coots and moorhens. The pressure on the new chicks sometimes forces the parents to cut their losses and take what they've got resulting in small broods.

I hope this answers some of your questions Peter and next time I see you I will elaborate
Thanks, John, for your comprehensive answer. You are a scholar and a gentleman.

Peter
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Old Thursday 29th June 2017, 07:10   #33971
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upstarts1979 View Post
There are several things at play with the Avocets this year Peter. Whether as a result of habitat changes, lower water levels or even the increase in their numbers as well as an increase in BHG's I'm not sure but things are different.
First of all there is an increase in breeding Avocets up from 17 breeding pairs in 2016 to at least 22 pairs this year.

Over the last 35 years I have been thoroughly monitoring all aspects of the breeding cycle of all the waders at the Flashes. Our avocets are probably the most studied in the Country - thanks to Mike, Des, Dave J and Phil. We have details on nest site, incubation period, chicks hatched , survival rate and feeding zones and even behavioural patterns, etc etc. I digress .

Nest Sites:
This year many nests have been in the meadow in fact 10 nests in all. This is probably as a result of pressure by BHG saturating previously prime Avocet nesting islands. But also it is accommodating the new influx of breeding birds. Many of these were probably the non-breeders from last year.
Another well used area is in front of the hide. Here at least 8 nesting attempts were made. These mainland sites are as a result of the Fox fencing doing its job. In the early years only islands were used for nesting. But BHG have albut taken the islands and only 5 nests were on islands this year but not very successfully.

Feeding Zones: There are 10 feeding Zones most in front and either side of the hide. But only 2 along the meadow shore , where the highest mortality has been this year. Due to predators, too much pressure from neighbouring avocets or too small a feeding area to sustain growth of chicks I am not sure. But very few proportionately of the chicks are surviving. It could also be due to low water levels being too muddy with little amounts of food.
Another frequently used area in the past was along the eastern shore of 2nd Flash. But this has been totally ignored this year and I would suggest that the stock fencing is the only reason for this.

Brood size:
Although we have many more pairs these days this does not mean we get more chicks. This year's brood sizes have been on average the lowest ever. This could be due to parents abandoning incubation of the whole clutch rather than fewer eggs being laid. I have noticed on several occasions sitting birds leaving un-hatched eggs to help the other parent defend the 1st hatched chick. The threats could be from LBBG, buzzards or even neighbouring avocets attacking the chicks. While unatended eggs have been stolen by coots and moorhens. The pressure on the new chicks sometimes forces the parents to cut their losses and take what they've got resulting in small broods.

I hope this answers some of your questions Peter and next time I see you I will elaborate
When I am back in the country I will post some stats but I am pretty sure they will support the theory that as the size of the breeding colony increases the average clutch size and fledging rates decrease.
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Old Thursday 29th June 2017, 09:32   #33972
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Thanks, John, for your comprehensive answer. You are a scholar and a gentleman.

Peter
I forgot to add the phenomenon of 'staggered nesting'
This is more by accident than design.
What usually happens is the dominant pairs get the best nest sites which used to be on the main Right 2nd Flash island. However the prime site is now on the 'spit' in front of the hide. The alpha pairs are generally more attentive when incubating and tend to hatch their first clutch successfully. They then utilise the prime feeding zones in the 'saucer' and 'delta'. If all the following nests hatched together there wouldn't be enough feeding zones to accommodate the broods and ultimately conflict would result and chicks would be lost. However most years the situation is resolved by a surprising source. This comes in the form of egg predation by coots, which is unintentionally helping the avocts productivity. The younger less experienced nesting birds are less attentive and often leave nest for no apparent reason inviting the coots to pounce.The lost clutches will be replaced some weeks later by which time the early broods are almost fledged. These older chicks are usually only defended by the female as the male's work is done and he moves off. The new broods are vigorously defended by both adults and easily oust the single parent family. This means the prime zones are used twice and with plenty of food available success usually results. This also means that avocets are with us well into August and even September, without this staggered effect the avocets would have left by mid July.
However this situation might be affected by the proposed lowering of te water levels next year. But hopefully the mitigation work of deepening the existing feeding zones should overcome the problem...
This is just an abridged version of my thoughts and observations of Upton' Avocets. I will pass all this information on to the Trust and if anyone else has any information it might be worth passing on to them or post here.
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Last edited by upstarts1979 : Thursday 29th June 2017 at 09:38.
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Old Thursday 29th June 2017, 12:28   #33973
Phil Andrews
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Substantial movement of Common Scoter across the Midlands today plus Greenshank and Blackwits in the south of the county - may be worth a cheeky visit today
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Old Friday 30th June 2017, 06:48   #33974
Phil Andrews
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Yesterday evening Mike W reported:

FLASHES

12 Curlew, 1 Green Sand, Egyptian Goose, 2 adult Med Gulls

MOORS POOL
Eclipse drake Red-crested Pochard, 11 Mute Swan, Gadwall + brood of 4 young, 7 Common Tern + 2 young, brood of 4 Tufted Duck, 15+ Swift, 40+ Martins (split 50/50 between House and Sand)
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Old Friday 30th June 2017, 07:36   #33975
Phil Andrews
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WOOD SANDPIPER at the Flashes as per Andy Pitt
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