Saturday, 12 July 2014

Kings Langley Patching (1st-11th July)

I've been covering the patch on a regular basis recently but still managed to miss the best bird (an Osprey over the fisheries on the 11th).  None the less locally nesting Buzzards and plenty of Red Kites have kept the ball rolling.  I'm still attempting to track down where/if the Kestrels are breeding but I have strong suspicion they are as I've seen pairs together carrying food.  A walk down to the canal produced my first Holly Blue of the year along with 3 Pruple Hairstreaks chasing each other around at the highest point in the canopy of Mercey's Wood.  Marbled White and Small Tortoiseshell seem to be having their best ever year on patch and there are good numbers of both Comma and Large Skipper on the wing, although the blues have yet to emerge.  I year ticked Gatekeeper on the 7th and have since seen them in good numbers all over patch.

Birds of interest have included the first returning Pochard on the KL Fisheries lake, a single Common Tern on the 9th and two on the 11th.

The KL School playing field has certainly reaped rewards in terms of quantity with a single warm afternoon noting a total 193+ birds using just the one field!  The majority constituting Starlings but there were families of Mistle Thrushes, Pied Wagtails, Greenfinches and Green Woodpeckers making use of the short grass to access the inverts below.  Farmland species still surviving in the area include Linnets, Yellowhammers and Kestrels although I'm not sure how much longer any of them will remain given recent population trends.

I also found the hollowed-out remains of a Signal Crayfish at the side of the canal, unfortunately confirming their presence in the local waterways.

 Signal Crayfish

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