MONDAY 27 JUNE
Unbearably hot again today, with temperatures soaring in the sunshine to 32 degrees C. Cloud did gather in the afternoon but apart from a few spots of rain, it remained dry.
It was too hot to birdwatch really but I did manage about six hours in the field........
LITTLE CHALFONT (BUCKS)
The local Common Swift population has now risen to 13 birds, with the addition of 5 screaming youngsters. Near Chalfont and Latimer railway station, I saw a female Eurasian Sparrowhawk with prey disappearing into the trees.
SYMONDSHYDE WOODS (HERTS)
Following Paul's email of yesterday, I decided to have a look for his Common Crossbill family. Frustratingly, there was no sight nor sound of them in the pine belt, although several were seen in Broxbourne Woods today. There was a lot of activity in the wood, with post-breeding families of Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Goldcrest, Blackcap, Robin and Wren; also Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
It was the butterflies that really stole the show though with two SILVER-WASHED FRITILLARIES (one flying around the logpiles by the entrance and another on territory by the sharp bend 700 yards into the wood), 2 WHITE ADMIRALS, a MARBLED WHITE, a RED ADMIRAL, numerous Speckled Woods and Large Whites, a handful of Small Heaths and dozens of Meadow Browns.
SP 94 06 HAWRIDGE/HAWRIDGE COMMON (BUCKS)
My latest tetrad survey, dominated by the rich woodland strip of Hawridge Common. A very productive area with 26 species recorded -:
Common Buzzard (1 flew over Cholesbury Lane)
Woodpigeon (60 or so in fields by the common and nesting observed)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1-2 ranging widely on the common)
European Barn Swallow (1-2 pairs nesting in barn at 'The Limes')
Eurasian Skylark (a large crop field to the east of the common held no less than 5 singing males with one bird tending young)
Robin (pair with young on Hawridge Common, and another pair at 'Barncroft')
Wren (two singing males on Hawridge Common, 1 by Church Lane, 1 behind Flint Cottage and another at the north end of the common)
Common Blackbird (two males in the gardens and woodland edge in Cholesbury Lane, another male in the scrub opposite May Cottage, a singing male by Stoney Lane and another by the Rose & Crown)
Song Thrush (2 singing males within 40 yards of each other on Hawridge Common with another less than 70 yards away and a further bird by the road at the north end)
Blackcap (singing male in scrub opposite May Cottage, another near Field View, another near Stoney Lane, another by Church Lane)
Common Whitethroat (a singing male in the young plantation area east of the common)
Common Chiffchaff (several singing males on Hawridge Common with one in trees opposite May Cottage, another by Stoney Lane, another in tall trees behind Flint Cottage and a bird at the extreme north end by the road)
Coal Tit (1 at the north end of Hawridge Common)
Blue Tit (two family parties noted on Hawridge Common)
Great Tit (adults and juveniles along Hawridge Lane)
*MARSH TIT (pair on Hawridge Common near Willow Tree Cottage)
Long-tailed Tit (pair on Hawridge Common)
Nuthatch (family party of 5 birds on Hawridge Common)
Common Treecreeper (1 present on the common)
Jackdaw (colony of hole nesting birds on Hawridge Common, with three holes occupied and some fledged young in the vicinity)
Common Magpie (2 different birds noted on Hawridge Common)
Jay (pair present on Hawridge Common)
Chaffinch (singing male in garden along Cholesbury Lane with another by Willow Tree Cottage)
Goldfinch (pair in gardens along Cholesbury Lane, another pair on Hawridge Common)
Greenfinch (singing male in tall conifer in garden of 'Field View' and another in hedgerow by the young plantation east of the common)
Yellowhammer (two nesting pairs in large cereal field east of common)
Lee G R Evans