quiet summer days (1 Viewer)


occasional moderator
Staff member
Dunno about the rest of the local patch birding fraternity but I always find my birding dries up after the first week of June and never seems to get going again until the middle of August. I guess it's because there isn't anything new to see before the Autumn migration season starts again........do other northern hemisphere birders also experience this summer lull or do you still do your local patch? And if so do you see much?

Maybe I'm just lazy.......also I have to say I actually like cool weather for birding and now it's starting to warm up ( relatively ) so I'm getting stuck in summer torpor. The best part of my local patch also transforms into a buggy sweaty jungle walk ( uphill too! ) and the mountains nearby are often shrouded in mist so I seem to spend much more time on the balcony drinking a nice cold one than birding......am I being unreasonably lazy?

I went on a short walk today-nowt especially interesting but a lot of fledged birds about-families of Great Tit, Red Cheeked Starling, Bull Headed Shrike, Black Backed Wagtail were present and a Grey Heron too and one male Cuckoo ( sp? it was silent ).

I hate to say it but roll on Autumn......


I'm losing it!
I know the feeling. I always start a new year list with a bang in January but nowadays tend to give up in June. SOmetimes I get going again in August but more often give up the year list and go back to twitching rarities instead. I once made a major effort on a year list but chesking back I did not add a great deal in June - mostly warblers.


p.s. I would be delighted with the birds you mention on my local patch but not much chance!!!

Charles Harper

You bet, Stu, it's heating up, and it's hard to get out when you know exactly what will be there. Serves us right for not being amateur entomologists instead of birders. If it's sunny this weekend (guess you haven't been suffering the daily downpours up in Hokkaido), I want to walk the patch for photogenic views, so I can add a few pictures to the patch description-- did you see Carlos' patch photos in the Gallery?-- helps in augmenting a mental image (of course, you know the UK; I don't). Also, I plan to spend some of these summer days in the air conditioning, trying to figure out how to get 300 species next year; I'm in trouble-- I just added up my 13 years here, and I've only got 280! It looks like I'll be coming up to see you twice, once in the spring and once in the winter. Have you been to the Kushiro/Nemuro area?

Hey, and how's the no-smoking campaign going? Hope you're staying off 'em.


occasional moderator
Staff member
Hi Charles-well I've cut down and now have 'no smoking days".....pathetic but true!

I spent one summer down near Tokyo and found the heat unbearable.........my whole social life revolved around air-conditioning.

I'll check out Carlos' patch photos-he lives in an area of the UK I'm not so familiar with ( and one much better for birds I think! ).

I`ve never been to east Hokkaido I`m sorry to say........ I always make vague plans that never get off the ground ( the story of my life...).

James-I'm still waiting for Jay for my local year list.
Yeah, too right everyone, the year list really does stagnate mid June to late July. Nothing at all anywhere nearby on the bird info services, either, no rarities to twitch.

Best of luck on giving up the poison weed - hope you succeed!



Brian Robson
Hi Stu its true after the second week of June it goes quite but i still watch my patch, as we occasionally get early returning waders, also seawatching starts to improve and continues to do so through July and August, and before you Know it Autumn is upon us.

My personal dull month is Febuary as i've usually seen all thats around by then and i cant wait for spring to return, like yourself not to keen on the warm stuff but it does bring out the flowers and butterflies, trying to learn about them but i find it hard work, however June is a good month to see Nightjars, Owls, Woodcock and i save these species for the final 2 weeks.


Ken Noble
Birds become a little predictable on my patch in June but they still vary from year to year. But my aim is not to build up a big list.
As someone said, this is the time of year to try and figure out what has bred successfully. For some reason I always have trouble proving breeding for the various pigeon sp. (five of which hold territories on my patch). Whereas warblers, which you might think would be more difficult, seem to draw attention to themselves when they are feeding young by making all sorts of clicking and hissing noises.
Lately I've become interested in dragonflies/damselflies and, to a lesser extent, butterflies. So there still aren't enough hours in the day. There again, we don't have quite the sort of heat that some of you suffer from. It's about 24 deg C. today, though the humidity is high.
I'm writing from Surrey, UK.
I suppose another option would be to 'migrate' somewhere else in the northern summer, New Zealand or South Africa perhaps!
Surreybirder said:
For some reason I always have trouble proving breeding for the various pigeon sp.

Know exactly what you mean - it doesn't help that the fledged young are (except for Wood Pigeon) indistinguishable from the adults

One possibly useful tip - anywhere that you see a couple of Magpies loitering with intent, there's likely a pigeon nest hidden in there somewhere.


Karl J

Well-known member
Depends what you want to look at I guess, personally the wildflowers, butterflies & dragonflies hold as much interest (and challange ! ) and are now coming into their own.

Not forgetting 'time out' lazing by the river as well ....

But, yes, the birds are a bit quiet.


Well-known member
Hi all,
"Yeah, too right everyone, the year list really does stagnate mid June to late July."
Certainly when a few breeding birds are selectively suppressed!I must add here that I have no problems with suppression in the case of scarce or vulnerable breeding birds,but when it's applied inconsistently it gets on my nerves!i.e.two species breeding in the east coast area this year that quite a few birders up that way know about,but I've only heard of either completely by accident(another birder who knew thought that it was common knowledge down here,which it most certainly WASN'T).
If only the FINDERS knew and it appeared in Irish Birds a few years down the road,then that would be acceptable.
What's worse,for all our vagrants here in Cork we have no breeding birds worth suppressing...;-)
The less said the better,I think!At least neither of the species would be a tick...
Harry H
Hi Carlos,
A quiet time of year for conifer study too, last years' cone crop is rotting away, this years' crop not ripe for several months yet . . .

Hi Harry,
Know exactly what you mean!



Well-known member
I Totally Disagree

Maximum Daylight Hours

Fine Weather

Loads of Bird Families

Sea Bird Colonies in full swing

Seasonal specialities like Quail, Nightjar, Spotted Crake, etc etc

Juvenile Water Rails on the increasing ammount of mud

June is THE Little Owl month

Try a calm evening walk, and find some Breeding Long eared Owls....

Golly Gosh, im so bored.........


Its Now time to leave the house........:cool:

Charles Harper

Fine for you Steve. My patch has no water, minimal bird families, no seasonal specialities, no owls. Winter is the best birding season here. Central Honshu is not as blessed as your neck of the woods.

And the weather stinks: it'll melt your boots. If you were here you'd stay in the pub, drinking beer and eating sushi, too.


wibble wibble
I have to say the one thing I love about June is getting up at four to five in the mornign and walking the local canal. It throws up a few goodies too like confiding warblers and unusual raptors.

For a local patch a good idea is to have a monthly day total aim. I have just started this after someone asked me what was the most I have had in one day. It added an edge when the birds are not so numerous. Trying to beat a monthly day total livens things up. Recently, I gained forty four birds for June on my local patch and can improve this so am trying again.


Ken Noble
Andrew said:

For a local patch a good idea is to have a monthly day total aim.

Could you clarify, please? Do you mean see what is the best day count you can get for each month of the year?

Too bad, Michael
(why are there no un-smilies?)


wibble wibble
Michael, never mind. Next time there will be five of them!!

Surreybirder, Yes that's what I mean. Seeing how many I can accumulate in one day and then noting the biggest count I got that month. The following year I will look to these and try to beat them. It has one benefit, it makes me take things slower and look harder thus improving bird watching skills. Also good to get home and se hope in beating it by thinking 'Oh, why didn't I get a Bullfinch!' and so on.


Registered User
I spent this morning at Oare Marshes (Kent) and got a list of 50 species. Including: Marsh harrier, corn bunting, ruff (with 1 male in near breeding plumage), spotted redshank in breeding plumage, bearded tit with young, redshank with young, 7+ little egret etc.

Then to cap it all the great tits in my nest box fledged - 4 young birds in the garden.

Quiet - I don't think so.

Karl J

Well-known member
Thinking about this, and reading a few replies, I'm not so sure now - is it the birds are quiet or am I spending so long looking at flowers, dragonflies etc, & sitting by the river lazing away, that there just aren't enough hours in the day to take in the birdlife as well ?

Hmmm ... must try harder perhaps !

Users who are viewing this thread