Saturday, 20 August 2011

20 August 2011

A slightly warmer morning at 14c with a bit of mist over the playing field but none over the lake, very still with no wind, high cloud coverage with a good amount of sunshine, visit from 05.50 til 08.30.

At least 18 Swifts were flying around this morning with small numbers of Swallows and House Martins going through, probably around 30+ of each, also 2 Sand Martins went through with them, small numbers are now resting on the telephone wires on the sewage works and you can expect these to build up over the coming weeks.
3 Willow Warblers were heard singing, 1 near the bottom gate to the nature reserve and 2 along the canal side of the main lake, on the main lake, 90 Tufted Duck which are building up nicely now, just 2 Great Crested Grebe, the 4 Mute Swans and the single female Pochard, 2 Pied Wagtails were along the grass bank, someone on Birdforum recently mentioned a large increase in the numbers of Mistle Thrushes around Staffs, just 5 seen around Westport this morning with 2 near the visitor centre and 3 on the gas works, however although not Westport I did have 13 at the side of my house yesterday which is very close too Westport and a noticeable increase from the 4 that have been resident here for a while, Lesser Black-backed Gulls continue to drop in numbers with just 3 seen this morning, 6 Chiffchaffs were heard/seen around the park, 2 Stock Doves were on the gas works, around the top pool, 2 Bullfinches plus another on the sewage works and 2 Reed Warblers, on the sewage works, a Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Willow Tit and a family of 4 Whitethroats, lastly a Collared Dove flew over the boating lake as I was leaving.

Finally I took a photo of a flower at Westport the other day that I hadn't seen before, thanks to the help of Tim on Birdforum, it was identified as a plant called Mullein which apparently is common on open ground especially close the railway lines were it's spread from the moving trains, as it happens these photo's are taken about 50 yards form the main line, it's also known for a Moth called the Mullein Moth although you only normally see it's Caterpillars, I checked this morning and although the leaves are being eaten by something there was no sign of any Caterpillars. Thanks to Tim and Nick Pom for your help and info.

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