Sunday, 29 July 2007

All was Silent

It's gotten very quiet at Cullaloe very quickly. The number of birds seen or heard on the reserve have reduced sharply in the past week or so. There seems to be very few warblers about now, with only the occasional sedge or willow warbler to be seen. Even these are becoming less frequent than previously. Swallow numbers have reduced considerably, too. Previously there had been over 20 seen on any single trip, where as now I'm lucky if i see 5 or 6.
It really is surprising how quickly the migrant species seem to vanish. I was hoping we'd have a few more weeks of them, but it seems not to be. I suppose it is possible the inclement weather has just driven them into hiding for a while, though. We should, however start seeing some more passage birds stopping off at the reserve on their migration routes. In the autumn we've got a fair chance of getting some interesting wader species arriving on passage as the water level will be lowered to assist with the growth of the mudwort plant, too.
It isn't all doom and gloom, though. There's still a large number of tits and finches about, a long with the resident waterfowl. There's still deer to be seen on the reserve, and I've seen my first grey squirrel on the peanut feeders. I have to confess, I'm not overly excited by that latest addition to the population. I'd far rather it wasn't there, but i guess it's the price to pay for supplying free food to all and sundry.
Speaking of free food, my father works for a local supermarket and they had coconuts reduced recently. We've put 4 of them up on the reserve (8 coconut halves) near the seed feeders. I have to admit, i was a little skeptical about whether these would be used or not, since whenever we've tried them at home they've been largely ignored. I was somewhat surprised to find that within the space of a week, almost all of them are half gone. I'm now considering getting some suet mix and filling them up as fat blocks once they're gone. I'll probably wait until Autumn for this, though, since there's still a chance of nice, hot weather this summer and dripping, melting fat doesn't strike me as too appealing!

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