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Friday 17 May 2024

Recent Stuff


The long-awaited Hernia op finally happened on Wednesday after 2 years, 3 pre assessments, 1 cancelation but got there at last. No fault on the NHS just bad funding over the years from a very poor Government.

On the bird front, another recent visit to Cooling Marshes at dawn, fantastic sunrise as usual and the birding as ever never disappoints.

Highlights from the visit were Little and 2 Short Eared Owls, 2 Cattle Egrets, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Bearded Tits, 2 Cuckoo , ever present Mediterranean Gulls and a Raven, seemingly everywhere these days.

The Shorties are seemingly quite late, however there still being seen at Rainham RSPB and other sites so looks like they are a latish breeder, I would imagine they will shortly head up north.

                                Admittedly played about with the light a bit but uplifting as ever

It seems this year, certainly with the peregrine pairs that I monitor, that breeding – i.e. egg and chick stage is all over the place.

On 3 sites, Falcons are still incubating eggs on May 14th no less, to put this into context, we ringed chicks last year on May 14th and these were around 21 days old.

There is nothing wrong with the clutches hopefully, it’s not a fertility thing relating to older Falcons, they just seem to have laid late. All of these sites have high fertility, and each site produced 3+ juveniles last year.

                                                                  Always watching

I would suspect that it could be weather connected, or that Peregrines are now developing a more protracted breeding season, much like the late staying Short Eared Owls above.

I also watched a number of Barn Owl boxes recently from distance, on one site in particular it seems that I have a pair in each, great result if it comes off, ringing will be early next month when all will be revealed.

I am also monitoring 4 pairs of Kestrels, one natural pair in a Quarry hole, with the 3 remaining in boxes provided, an uptake on a box that has been in situ for 3 years, is particularly satisfying.




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