All the occupied starling nestboxes on Hope Farm successfully fledged 50 of the 52 chicks that were ringed and monitored for body condition, a phenomenal success rate considering the cold spring, and the fact we can't remember the last time any meaningful rain has fallen on the farm. Given this success so far it will be interesting to see if any second broods occur as this is quite rare on the farm.
The cold start to the breeding season has seen few fledglings on the wing, though in the past few days juvenile Blue tits, Robins, Song Thrushes and Long tailed tits have been seen around the farm.
Linnets and Reed Buntings are now often encountered in the viscinity of the Oilseed rape fields and I'm currently monitoring a number of linnet nests. Last week, I was fortunate enough to find a calling Quail in one of these fields, even more fortunate was that I managed to see the bird fly between two fields as these tiny gamebirds hardly ever break from cover (was best described as a cricket ball disappearing over the boundary....). This was the 80th species recorded on the farm so far in 2010 (Can I find another 20 by the end of the year?)
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