18th August 2017

A Red Kite flew over Round Meadow and two Swallows were over Bog Field. A Willow Warbler was in Lunch Wood and other warblers in the CF sector included singles of Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

At BW, a Mistle Thrush, a Whitethroat and seven Chiffchaffs were logged.

A Holly Blue, four Speckled Woods, a Small Tortoiseshell, eight Small Whites and 10 Meadow Browns were noted at CF, as was a Southern Hawker. In BW there were six Chalkhill Blues, a Brown Argus, four Common Blues, a Small Heath, a Gatekeeper, 17 Meadow Browns, a Speckled Wood, two Red Admirals, a Comma and a Green-veined White. A Common Darter was also in the sector.

Paul Goodman, Duncan Jennings and Ian Pratley

17th August 2017

Few highlights in the BW sector but 25 Goldfinches at Park Farm is worth a mention.

Duncan Jennings

16th August 2017

Highlights included a Willow Warbler at Parsons Land, a Pied Wagtail at Legal & General and six Swallows at the farm. Three Kestrels, two Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and three Bullfinches were also seen across the patch.

Ian Pratley

10-15th August 2017

I've been away again so here's another quick roundup of events since our last update. 11th saw a Reed Warbler, our third record and found by PGo, turn up at Canons Farmyard. The same day, a Garden Warbler, a scarce autumn bird for us, was found in Round Meadow with three Willow Warblers. 14 Chiffchaffs were also in the CF sector that day, along with three Blackcaps and two Whitethroats. A nice little fall!

Another Garden Warbler was seen in the Harholt Plantation on 10th, when four Willow Warblers were across the patch, a Meadow Pipit was noted near Perrotts Farmhouse and four House Martins flew over Broadfield. Three Willow Warblers were on the patch on 14th. As well as the odd migrant Swallow, we are pleased to announce a confirmed breeding attempt underway.  A Cormorant was a notable fly-over at BW on 11th. One of the local Little Owls was noted along Slangs on 10th and six Swifts flew over the farm the next day. Two Rooks were in the BW sector on 14th.

The first Brown Hairstreak of the year was logged on the east side of Ruffett Wood on 10th. The same day, the BW sector had two Silver-washed Fritillaries, five Chalkhill Blues and five Brown Argus. In BW again, three Brown Hairstreaks were recorded on 15th, along with four Silver-washed Fritillaries, two Purple Hairstreaks, 10 Brown Argus, seven Chalkhill Blues, two Small Coppers and eight Small Heaths.

Common Darters were seen mating by Canons Farmhouse on 13th and another two were noted in BW on 15th. A Southern Hawker was at the farm on 11th, as was a Migrant Hawker on 10th.

our breeding Swallows!

Geoff Barter, Paul Goodman (photo 2), Ian Magness (photo 1), Ian Pratley, Ian Ward and WoodChips Conservation Volunteers

8th August 2017

In the BW sector, a Willow Warbler, three Whitethroats, a Sparrowhawk family were the most noteworthy avian sightings, along with a flock of 30 Goldfinches in Holly Lane Meadow.

Seven Swifts were seen at the farm, as well as four Swallows, two Whitethroats and a Kestrel.

juvenile Robin
Ian Pratley and Ian Ward (photo)

7th August 2017

Incredibly, a 'cream-crown' Marsh Harrier flew over the farm again today, this time heading WNW before departing to the north and in view between 09:40 and 09:45. It's tempting to speculate that it could be yesterday's individual returning, having lingered in the wider local area overnight. The southern side of the farm was scoured for grounded migrants but a Willow Warbler feeding in the bean crop in Broadfield was the only obvious example. A number of dispersing juvenile Chiffchaffs were in evidence too, with seven counted. Six Whitethroats and a Blackcap were also logged. Overhead, 11 House Martins and 32 Swifts pushed through, along with six Swallows. Three Greenfinches are also worth mentioning.

A Common Blue was in Canons Farmyard. Other butterflies included a Speckled Wood, a Gatekeeper and two Small Whites.

A Large Red Damselfly was noted in the CF sector.

Marsh Harrier, a little lower this time

David Campbell and Natasha Preston

6th August 2017

Our first in three years, and our sixth record in all, a high-flying female/immature Marsh Harrier stole the show over the farm early in the afternoon as it casually circled at great altitude. Grounded migrants were hoped for but were few and far between, although a single Wheatear, our first of the autumn, represented some 'quality'. Swifts pushed into the WSW wind, with 63 seen in total over the patch. 10 House Martins flew over the BW sector.

Resident birds included a Little Owl flying along the edge of Horse Pasture and fledglings of both Buzzard and Sparrowhawk on site.

In the BW sector, a Clouded Yellow was of course the best of the butterflies, while other species seen included five Silver-washed Fritillaries (one of which being a valesina morph), some 50 Chalkhill Blues, three Small Coppers, 14 Brown Argus, six Small Heaths, a Holly Blue, 120 Common Blues, two Commas, five Peacocks, six Speckled Woods, 30 Gatekeepers, 230 Meadow Browns, 15 Brimstones, three Large Whites, eight Small Whites and three Green-veined Whites.

Butterflies at CF included a Holly Blue, three Common Blues, a Comma, three Red Admirals, two Brown Argus, three Speckled Woods, six Small Whites and four Large Whites.

Odonata were represented by six Southern and five Migrant Hawkers in BW, with another of the latter seen by Legal & General.
♀/immature Marsh Harrier high over the farm

valesina morph Silver-washed Fritillary at Fames Rough

David Campbell (photo 1), Paul Goodman, Ian Pratley and Ian Ward (photo 2)

25th July-3rd August 2017

Thanks for bearing with me while I've been away. It's fantastic to have received over 500 records from CFBW during my time in Scotland/Finland. Here's an attempt at a meaningul roundup, please forgive any inadvertent omissions of notable records.

CF birds
The most significant event of the last couple of weeks was the successful breeding of Red-legged Partridge, something which would have been a bookies' favourite were odds to be offered on the next 'new' breeding bird at the patch (although it is possible they bred in the days before the Group). The appearance of Willow Warblers away from breeding territories in mid-summer (or early autumn, depending on how you view things!) is always an exciting indication of the spell of migration to come. The farm received two individuals during the period, with singles on 28th and 30th. Further movement was evident as House Martins began to trickle through, including starting with 11 on 28th then followed by 10 on 30th and three on 3rd. Swifts began their more hurried exodus, with movements of 26 on 25th, 20 on 29th, 19 on 1st and 20 on 3rd. Swallows included a count of 40 on 30th. Notable fly-overs included two Red Kites and a Grey Heron, all on 28th.

BW birds
We don't tend to get many escapees on the patch but a Canary added itself to our very short avian absconders list on 1st. Sightings of 'proper' birds were limited, with a Grey Heron on 30th, plus six Swallows and a Mistle Thrush on 25th about the best on offer.

CF butterflies
A Common Blue on 3rd was noteworthy for the sector. A Holly Blue was noted on 3rd.

BW butterflies
Clouded Yellows, always a fantastic spot locally, were reported on 29th and 1st. Another migrant, a Painted Lady, was seen on 3rd. Purple Hairstreaks appeared on 25th, when five were counted, and four were noted on 1st. Some 12 Silver-washed Fritillaries, including a valesina morph, were logged on 25th. Selected other records include 20 Chalkhill Blues counted on both 25th and 29th, five Small Coppers on 29th and nine Brown Argus on 1st. A Holly Blue was seen on 3rd.

BW odonata
Southern Hawkers continue to patrol the footpaths.  

Brown Argus, BW on 25th
Chalkhill Blues, BW on 25th
valesina Silver-washed Fritillary, BW on 25th
Abia sericea, BW on 29th
Clouded Yellow, BW on 29th
Dwarf Thistle, BW on 29th
Marsh Thistle, BW on 29th
Prickly Sowthistle, BW on 29th
Six-spot Burnet, BW on 29th
Canary, BW on 1st
Clouded Yellow, BW on 1st

Paul Goodman, Duncan Jennings (photos 10-11), Ian Magness (photos 4-9) Ian Pratley, Ian Ward, Stephen Ward (photos 1-3) and Woodchip Conservation Volunteers et al