Despite recent blogs I have still managed to keep a weekly eye on the activity on my local patch, Cranford Park.
As the days get warmer, the constant bird noise experienced from March to mid-May drops off. Some of our seasonal visitors have moved further on while those that stayed have replaced the need to establish territory and attract a mate with the feeding and protecting of young birds.
The Great Spotted Woodpecker hole is now deserted, suggesting the brood has fledged. You can hear Great Spotted Woodpeckers throughout the woods at the moment, suggesting there are several around.
The Green Woodpecker hole was, until last weekend, still occupied and still attracting attention from the Parakeets. You can still hear Green Woodpeckers “laughing” but the calls are a little thinner than before and don’t resonate as much as a month or so ago.
There are plenty of juvenile birds around though. This Saturday saw young Robins around the oak trees by the Information Centre.
There is also a family of Song Thrush in the woods. The adult can be heard regularly singing its lovely melodious song and Saturday saw a few juveniles braving the pathway.
Also very visible are flocks of Long-tailed Tits moving through the woods. A mixture of adult and juveniles, they will arrive in noisy groups, feeding on small insects, hopping from branch to branch before moving on. They are very mobile though and take some patience to photograph.
Blackcaps, Chiffchaff and Whitethroats are still present but their noise and numbers are much reduced from spring. Skylarks can occasionally be heard in the long grass of the open spaces. I have also seen at least one of the Kingfishers along the River Crane on two consecutive visits and early morning visitors may well see a Grey Heron fishing along there too.
The occasional Kestrel has been seen, hopefully the coming weeks will show if they have bred successfully. This Saturday also saw one Red Kite and a Buzzard put in an appearance over the park.
It’s not just birds at Cranford Park though. Last Saturday I had a face to face with a fox deep in the woodland. Despite me asking nicely, no posing for a photograph was carried out.
Less shy was this Natterjack Toad from last weekend, making the most of the damp conditions.
Early mornings in particular will also see the rabbits and squirrels active.
As the birds get quieter and their profile’s lower the butterflies come to the fore.
And Damselflies can be seen along the River Crane.
I also saw my first Dragonfly of the summer just as I was leaving on Saturday afternoon. Hopefully we will see a Hobby or two at Cranford as the Dragonfly numbers build up.