Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Trying for waders again

With quite a few waders around in the county at the moment I thought if any are going to turn up at the Tribley farm ponds then its going to be now, though I must be honest I think it past it's best for these now. Never the less, off I set early morning in what was the warmest for a good few days. Optimism  improved at the hedgerow to the north of the woods held several butterflies including 2 Speckled Wood and several Walls and a fine Lesser Whitethroat popped out and performed very well until I reached for my camera when off it flew.

It was obvious not all the Swallows moved though yesterday as I counted 33 on the telegraph wires in the village as I passed through.

33 Swallow were still on the wires

I reached the farm ponds and scanned the edges but knew I was going to be out of luck with anything new. I did count 27 Curlew, 4 Common Snipe, 7 Teal, 2 Grey Heron and a pair of Reed Bunting but there were no passage waders.

One of the Common Snipe leaving the pond

The stubble field which had been Oilseed Rape is now a mass of Field Pansy and a robust specimen of Bugloss (Anchusa arvensis) which is now quite a rare arable plant.

Bugloss - now a rare arable weed

 It was too early in the day for Dragonflies but did find a single resting Common Darter.

Common Darter

I came back through the South Burn Woods and waited a while by the Brass Castle Pond as there were a few birds flitting around. These turned out to be a family party of Chaffinch and 2-3 Chiffchaff, all juveniles but one still managing to do a bit of song. This warbler is named after it call which is not quite right and the Germans have done better as they call it the 'Zilpzalp' which is much closer. As I watched them flit around, the bird of the day appeared. A Spotted Flycatcher, an adult by the looks of it, started to do as it's name suggests, catch flies. It did a few sorties over the Phragmities before deciding to fly off.  Just around the corner there were some more Speckled Woods, sunning themselves in the autumn sun.

Speckled Wood 


  1. there used to be a smaller pool closer to the wood, ie ESE of the farm pond.
    Not sure if its still there, but strangely it was higher up the slope towards Congburn woods -
    I used to scope down from the wood edge here at NZ250507, when it had breeding Redstart & Tree Pipit.
    Remember watching prospecting Shelduck there, with bubbling Ruddy Duck on the Farm pool with Corn Bunting on the wires and still plenty Whinchats & Cuckoos on the Fell.

  2. Steve,

    There still are two ponds, the higher pond closer to the wood, is the one in the photograph and the one that used to have the odd passage wader but now has a fair bit of vegetation. I'm sure its moved closer to the other one! The other, is now very heavily overgrown but there is some open water in the middle. That one still has a few breeding pair of Mallard, Coot and Moorhen plus the odd Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting. Been a while since any Tree Pipit, Corn Bunting and Whinchat but still very regular Cuckoo which I can often hear from the house in May/June. Redstart still there in 2008 but probably now also gone.

  3. enjoying following the blog.

    . . .im anticipating you stumbling upon a passage Nightjar ! :-)

    must have a look across your way again soon