Warblers have started their migrations from their breeding grounds, down through the country and on, all the way to Africa. The Bird Ringers came early one morning to target WilWas and WooWas – this is ringer-speak for Willow Warblers and Wood Warblers. Because these birds are no longer breeding, they are now allowed to play their song to bring in any of these species that are in the area.
Although they did not catch a WooWa, they did get some WilWas:
They also caught four other types of Warbler:
All these birds have been born this year and are now making their way south for the first time. The adult birds are also migrating now but probably go straight through, without stopping at the coast.
One of our sons, visiting this week, spotted a Wasp Spider in amongst these flowers below. The Spider was doing brisk business catching unfortunate insects.
We also found a second Wasp Spider, a couple of feet further back, and I started going down to visit both webs several times a day because I really wanted to also see a male, who is tiny in comparison. However, I have now read that I was too late – these spiders mate in July and unfortunately the male often doesn’t live to tell the tale, being eaten by her. During August, the female gets larger and larger as the eggs grow inside her and, a month after mating, she finally builds a cocoon for her eggs. Every time I go down to look at them, they are both busy with new prey items – enthralling and horrifying in equal parts.
We used the welcome injection of enthusiasm in the form of our visiting son to progress a couple of projects. In the wood, several hours were spent working hard on the round house, which we are making out of the by-products from our coppicing efforts over the winter:
In the meadows, we scythed the green hay off the flowery rectangle that was sown five years ago and laid it onto a neighbouring less-flowery area. We hope that flower seeds will now drop and germinate in this new area.
In the wood, we have now got much better photos of the Polecat/Ferret Hybrid:
There are also other interesting photos from the wood this week:
In the meadows, a pair of Grey Partridge have begun visiting the strip:
This Kestrel below is ringed and so I suspect that she is the one that was ringed here in the meadows last year as a young bird.
Here she is again:
We have been following the fortunes of this Stock Dove squab who hatched out of an egg on 30th July. Its a funny looking little thing, and its ears aren’t where you might expect.
When the Bird Ringers were here this week, they ringed this squab:
It’s been a hot and busy week. Last night, one of our old favourites, the Patricia, was at anchor alongside. This ship is operated by Trinity House and she tends to the needs of the lightships and buoys marking the treacherous Goodwin Sands that lie just offshore.
The sea was so unusually still and calm that the reflections, the throb of her engines across the water and the warm, summer evening created a magical atmosphere, one to remember with nostalgia when we are once again in the grip of winter