Friday, 6 August 2010

Lake View wildlife report for July 2010

Eagle hide blown-off roof The long dry spell has broken, with the weather turning more mixed but not atrocious, causing the hoped-for Mountain Ringlet survey to be abandoned. There was one particularly windy night when someone was camping in our field. That same night, the roof blew off the RSPB Haweswater eagle hide hut roof - we were part of a rescue party that put it back together a few days later.

We've seen two red squirrels at our feeders regularly over the last month, one with a dark back and tail, and another with a light tail. Meanwhile local avid Red Squirrel supporter Wendy has been looking after a red squirrel kitten that was found abandoned by Buttermere. Initially Eddie was inside her house and two of us had him climbing over us, in particular on me as I was taller - a bit tree-like? Later on, he was moved into an outside cage. Some cases of parapox were found nearby killing some reds, so an outer cage was hastily erected to protect Eddie against any contact with infected reds or greys. As I write, he's doing fine and is due to be released shortly.

Red squirrels Red squirrel

Our pond has been progressing, with some more plants added. We may have Canadian Pondweed, but it's not taken over so far. We've an offer of some Curly Pondweed so we might go for that. The Water Snails are doing well - laying egg masses on the underside of some floating leaves.

New wildlife pond Water Snail egg masses

On a walk up onto Knipe Scar, we came across some very large bracket fungus on a sycamore, protruding over a foot...

Large bracket fungus
Sessile Oak We did two Bird Atlas summer visits this month, going round two 2km x 2km tetrads to do a bird count for 2 hours, while recording the likelihood of breeding for each species. We use the standard breeding evidence codes - which we also use to record the species in our own garden bird list below. We saw 31 bird species on the first tetrad and 27 in the next. These late summer visits are trickier because all the trees are in full leaf, required us (or rather Caz) to identify the birds by the call or song alone. Caz can now distinguish Garden Warbler and Blackcap. On the way back after the first tetrad we saw a large sessile oak on the road verge; we hugged it to get an estimate of the tree's girth and reported it for The Woodland Trust's Ancient Tree Hunt.

I've put the moth trap out a few times getting some reasonable catches, including some species new for here, including the V moth:

V moth

Peregrine The birds seen at home nicely include a Nuthatch and Bullfinch. The Greater spotted woodpeckers have done well, rearing the usual two young. We've had Swallows nesting in the garage and the log shed, with the garage pair producing two broods. The second brood were above the permanently up (and therefore horizontal) garage door. One young bird fell onto the top of the garage door and died overnight. When another one fell, we rescued it and successfully put it back in the nest. Overall we know of 3 dead young swallows: as well as the one just mentioned, one fell out of first garage nest and another fledged youngster died just recently when it flew into a window. Under the log shed swallow nest was a strange black pile which we think is insect cases dropping to the ground under the nest - see below. We've also seen 3 Peregrines flying overhead, to and fro from a local quarry, being quite noisy, as we understand young peregrines are wont to be. We have also heard a Tawny owl hooting nearby occasionally, but so far not roosting under in the winter roost spruce trees.

Greenfinch feeding young Nuthatch Swallows Dead newly fledged swallow Insect scales under swallow nest Ringlet butterfly Classic sunset

The linked table below shows the maximum count of each bird species seen, along with best breeding code, primarily in our back garden near Bampton Cumbria in NY51 VC69 (and in our surrounding 1km square) in the period from November 2007 until July 2010, with a total count of 50 species, 31 this month.

Full Lake View Monthly Max Bird Count Seen table

Species Jul-10
Blackbird 6 FL
Blue tit 6
Bullfinch 1
Buzzard 2
Carrion crow
Chaffinch 7
Coal tit 2
Collared dove
Dunnock 4 FL
Garden Warbler 1
Goldcrest 1 S
Goldfinch 4 S
Great spotted woodpecker 4 FL
Great tit 6 FL
Greenfinch 8
Grey heron
Jackdaw 1
Linnet 1
Long-tailed tit
Mistle thrush 1 S
Nuthatch 1
Peregrine 3
Pheasant 6 FL
Pied wagtail
Raven 2
Redstart 1
Reed bunting 1
Robin 2 FL
Song thrush 1 S
Sparrowhawk 1
Spotted flycatcher 2 FL
Stock dove 1
Swallow 25 FF
Tawny owl 1 S
Willow warbler 2
Woodpigeon 2 S
Wren 1
Total: 50 31


  1. Thank you.
    I'll be interested to see if the starling count increases throughout the year.
    Just where do they go?

    And zero sparrows!

  2. Thanks

    If you look at our full records, you can see that we see most starlings as flocks during the winter:

    Yes, we don't have any house sparrows even though they are not too far away at Rosgill - probably a blessing as they cheep incessantly!?