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Nature Notes - Jun-Jul 2017

20 June to 19 July 2017

It is certainly proving to be a relatively warm, dry summer so may be the oak/ash rhyme will prove to be accurate after all?

Everything is getting a little quieter now, as the bird song diminishes significantly (the breeding season is over for most birds and of course, singing is all about proclaiming a territory and attracting a mate – neither of which is necessary now). Newly fledged birds are abundant but they spend a good deal of time hidden away safe from predators – as do their parents, many of whom will be in moult and somewhat vulnerable, therefore, as they replace their feathers.

Three of the four kestrels ringed last month have fledged (the fourth, which was a runt, perished in the nest). They will remain reliant on their parents for a while yet but come the Autumn they will have to leave and find their own territories. Previous ringed birds from Norton have been found in places as diverse as Barnard Castle, Jodrell Bank and Stoke upon Tern.

Sadly the Barn Owls failed at egg stage although I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a second breeding attempt as there is certainly at least one adult occupying the box regularly.

I’ve had no reports from readers this month but one “sighting” of my own is that I saw a Polecat running along the side of the road at Byways on 15 July, late at night. This is probably only the fourth or fifth of these rare mustelids that I’ve seen round Norton in the 27 years I’ve lived here.

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