It certainly looks like it - that is, Beckingham's best ever breeding season! Since my last update we can now confirm 11 pairs of lapwing have attempted to breed on site this year and currently we have well into double figures of either fledged, or near fledged young! The fledglings have taken to hiding very well in the long grass, so it's proving a good challenge to find and count them, but we have high hopes for a final total in the region of 15. This would be a brilliant level of productivity (see my last blog for further information), so keep your fingers crossed for the birds!
We are also very pleased to announce the first ever breeding of redshank on site! Redshank are a target species for us at Beckingham and so the site has reached a milestone, with this success. There are currently 3 very large and near fledged young out feeding with their parents on the wet scrapes and grassland - look out for them flying around with the adults in the next few days and weeks. Needless to say, we are thrilled!
More breeding success comes in the form of gadwall and shoveler - gadwall breeding for the first time ever on site and shoveler for the second. The site is also bustling with mallard, coot and moorhen young and our healthy populations of skylark and meadow pipit well underway with their breeding attempts.
The tree sparrow colony is doing well again too, with 25 active nests and many pairs now on second broods, after successfully fledging their first.
Recent sightings include a common tern overhead - an unusual record for Beckingham, little owl, peregrine and hobby - a nice site tick for me! In insect news, plenty of painted lady's are on the wing after an influx of this migrant species and a great record of hairy dragonfly last week, with a pair in cop confirming breeding. This is a species expanding it's range northwards and after it's discovery on site in 2013, but none in 2015, this is a very welcome sighting.
Redshank - trilled to have these breed on site for the first time. Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
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