What a great period, down on the Farm, the last three months have been. We have had good numbers of Sedge and Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat. I have only had 3 singing Grasshopper Warblers on territory - we normally have 5 or 6. Two male cuckoos have been calling all summer and I have had up to five in and around the Farm.

WhitethroatWhitethroat

We have seen an increase in the number of human passerines/visitors, possibly due to the numerous events organised through the "Celebrating The Lizard" series of events - a great initiative. One of my highlights, of the season, was encountered during one of these events. On the 26th June I was leading a group mainly looking for Adders, butterflies (Marsh Frits) and Dragonflys.

It was not that sunny when we got to the Marsh Frit site and none were out so we moved on to the Dragon Fly ponds; whilst there the sun came out so I suggested that we go back to the Marsh Frit site (they love a bit of sun).

When we got there we immediately flushed a small wader type "thing" - Duncan suggested Quail and the penny dropped with me. It then walked in front of us and I managed to get a few terrible photos. Only the second record for the Farm.

QuailQuail

However as most of you are probably aware this was not the bird of the summer! This occurred on the Monday the 29th May - a Red Footed Falcon - a new bird for the reserve. I was on the Scillies (on holiday) and I was chuffed but a bit gutted that I was away. The next day, on the Scillies, my wife and I decided to go to Bryher; when we got down to the quay we were told that due to the ebb tides we would have to get off Bryher by 12:45 - we then decided to go to St Martins. When walking on St Martins we went down into the first cove immediately west of the day mark. Half way down I saw a bird and exclaimed "WTF is that!!!" to my wife. Oh yes it was an immature male Red Foot! Fantastic my first british RFF. Luckily when we got back from the Scillies the Lizard bird was still around and I saw it on the Farm.

Red-Footed-Falcon

Red Footed Falcon

The Farm is buzzing with Dragonflys so get down there on a sunny day. I have seen Red Veined Darters on every visit since the 26th May. Lots of other species are out and about. Marsh Fritillaries are also out and may be around for a couple of more weeks.

Marsh-Fritillary
Red Veined Darter Marsh-Fritillary

The Farm did not miss out on the Red Kite invasion on the 26th May - I had 17 in ten minutes from the Windmill viewing platform.

 

Red-Kite

Red Kite

Finally I would like to say thank you to a few folks: CBWPS and CWT for their continued management and support of the reserve - in particular to CWT for funding bird feeders for the reserve and CBWPS for funding the bird food. The feeders will be going up on the autumn; RNAS Culdrose Environmental Section and CPO Sean Worsdale for the donation of 8 bird nest boxes - again these will be going up soon; Roger Butts who made a donation on one of the guided walks - this helped fund the bird feeders and finally to all that come to visit.

 

And you will all be pleased to hear that new signage (directions) will be going up soon!!!

 

Published: July 2017

Author: Dougy  Wright