Sunday, 17 July 2011

July WeBS Count at Rodley Nature Reserve

 Sunrise over the Duck Marsh, Rodley Nature Reserve, Leeds - Sunday 17th July 2011

A 05:30 start this moth's BTO WeBS count, finishing at 08:45-ish, and just missing the rain. The weather was great to start with, but it darkened as the clouds rolled in.

 Rainbow over Rodley Nature Reserve, Leeds - Sunday 17th July 2011

Highlights this month:
  • A single group of 82 Mallard (there were others scattered around), made up mostly of juvenile birds born this year.
  • Great views of a Kingfisher from the Reedbed hide (the best place to see these here). The bird looked a little worn – it’s probably been busy tending to young for the last few weeks.
  • Four Little Grebe adults – no young though after they were predated by Mink.
  • Lots of young warblers around in the scrub and willow. Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat. We had some ID challenges with two groups of possible young Lesser Whitethroat skulking in the hedgerows (plain grey-brown uppers, mostly pale underparts, dark grey hood with a darker grey eye-mask). Lesser Whitethroat are not common at Rodley, but I heard some had been seen earlier in the month.
  • A nice array of finches in the trees near the entrance bridge: Bullfinch (including two young), Goldfinch, Chaffinch, and plenty of Greenfinch.
  • Three Common Tern having an argument over the reserve (a pair are breeding here this year).
  • One Stock Dove. Nothing particularly interesting about that, but I just like to mention them as they’re one of my favourite birds and they're so often overlooked.
The WeBS counts are generally too early in the morning to see much in the way of butterflies, but other wildlife included two Roe Deer (an adult female and young male), young toads, and a pool in the reed full of tiny young fish. Any help on identifying the fish species would be welcome!

Fish (?!) at Rodley Nature Reserve, Leeds - Sunday 17th July 2011

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