Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

Why Robins sing at night?

I’ve always heard that the reason Robins sing at night in cities is because they are fooled by the light. Radio 4 was reporting today on a new idea that instead the Robins were singing at night to communicate and not to compete with human noise during the day.


A morning at Rutland Water

I was at Rutland Water last weekend. Much of the time was spent sightseeing but I did spend a morning birding at the Egleton Reserve.

Hirundines  back in force and also returning Common Terns. Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Sedge Warblers all over the place. Also 4 singing Grasshopper Warblers including super views of one bird.

Other highlights were an Osprey on a nest and a juvenile Great Northern Diver.

Barnacle Geese breaks the speed limit.

A Barnacle goose has flown from Scotland to Norway. He left Caeverlock at 8pm and made it to Norway by 4am the next morning.

He clocked up an average speed of 60mph!

Mobiles to blame for Bee die off?

I mentioned that bees were suffering mass die offs. Well the Independent is reporting on research that suggests this is due to <a href=””>mobile phone handsets</a>.

Apparently a study at Landau University suggests Bees refuse to return to hives when mobile phones are placed near them.

A Morning Birding

I spent the morning (well after getting the car serviced) at Amwell Gravel Pits.

Notable birds, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler,  House Martin, Swallow, Sedge Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler and Marsh Tit. Flipping Little Ringed Plovers disappeared when I was there!

House Martin

Been seeing a few Swallows on the way to and from work but today I had a House Martin!! First of the year

Local Birding

As I am busy the next three weekends I thought I ought to do some local birding.

Over Hatfield Forest everything was singing away including a Blackcap. Two Marsh Tits seemed to have paired up, they were certainly hanging around with each other. All the woodland specialities were about Great Spot, Green Woody, Treecreeper and Nuthatch. Big surprise to me was a Wheatear.

I didn’t look overly hard for the Little Bunting at Amwell. Still a nice variety of stuff about if no new migrants.

Rye Meads had a singing Willow Warbler and displaying Redshanks. Unfortunately there has been no female Kingfisher. I watched a Heron stand stock still for ages before striking!

Lackford Lakes

I spent an enjoyable 3+ hours at Lackford Lakes today. It’s a lovely Suffolk Wildlife Trust Reserve between Mildenhall and Bury St Edmunds
Nice to see and hear Blackcap and to hear Willow Warbler. No hirundines over the water BUT I did see a Swallow as I approached Great Dunmow on my way home (I went the scenic route).

Birds today

  1. Great Crested Grebe
  2. Cormorant
  3. Grey Heron
  4. Mute Swan
  5. Greylag Goose
  6. Canada Goose
  7. Eygptian  Goose
  8. Shelduck
  9. Gadwall
  10. Teal
  11. Mallard
  12. Shoveler
  13. Tufted Duck
  14. Pochard
  15. Red-Legged Partridge
  16. Pheasant
  17. Moorhen
  18. Coot
  19. Oystercatcher
  20. Lapwing
  21. Snipe
  22. Redshank
  23. Black Headed Gull
  24. Lesser Black Backed Gull
  25. Wood Pigeon
  26. Green Woodpecker
  27. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  28. Skylark
  29. Swallow
  30. Pied Wagtail
  31. Wren
  32. Dunnock
  33. Robin
  34. Blackbird
  35. Mistle Thrush
  36. Song Thrush
  37. Blackcap
  38. Chiffchaff
  39. Willow Warbler
  40. Marsh Tit
  41. Blue Tit
  42. Great Tit
  43. Magpie
  44. Rook
  45. Crow
  46. Jackdaw
  47. Chaffinch
  48. Goldfinch
  49. Reed Bunting

Long distance flight

A female Bar-Tailed Godwit touched down on the mudflats of Yalu Jiang in North Korea on March 24, one week and 6300 miles after leaving the Coromandel peninsula in New Zealand.

Now that is undoubtedly impressive but the bird is being monitored by an electronic tracking implant and scientists have discovered she has made the longest-recorded non-stop flight of any creature!

Flowers and fruit crops face disaster

Sometime ago I reported about the disappearance of honey bees in North America. The Daily Telegraph is now reporting that this is happening here.

In London, about 4,000 hives — two-thirds of the bee colonies in the capital — are estimated to have died this winter. Honeybees are responsible for 80% of pollination as they collect nectar for the hive. This could cause huge ecological problems with flowers, fruit and crops failing to grow.