Given the surprised reaction we get when we tell concerned members of the public that it is normal to find baby pigeons at this time of year it would seem that many people expect all bird breeding to be done and dusted by now! Not so, the pigeon family especially capitalise on the abundance of seed at this time of year to raise young at a time of natural plenty. From personal observations it looks like woodpigeons and collared doves have had a great year this year, I was watching a recently fledged woodpigeon this morning, it flew straight at the kitchen window, veering away at the last minute. Whether this was the result of window sticker or the huge garden spider web I couldn't say, but it was good to see him land safely on the fence! So if you are tempted to do some tree pruning now, take care to have a check for nesting birds before you get started.
Another group that may still be breeding are the hirundines, swallows and house martins specifically. Is it too late for them to make it south, hopefully not! In a good summer they try to raise at least two broods but this year may have enabled some to have three and many that arrived late will still be on their second. Whilst many have already moved south, there will be a steady flow out of the UK over next month or so and any recent fledglings will be feeding up and hoping to join other stragglers on the mammoth journey south. It is normal for the parents to ship out before the young, they often stick around, roosting at the nest site feeding as much as they can before heading off when they feel the time is right.
Whilst the swallows are heading away, the wintering birds are starting to be seen and heard. I was out at Fen Drayton last week and it was great to be out in brilliant sunshine with the whistling of wigeon filling the air, fantastic sound! It was great to see a great white egret there among the wildfowl and waders as well.
As September comes to an end and we move into October, what was your wildlife highlight of September and what are you hoping to find in October?
A visit to the Ham Wall RSPB nature reserve in the hope of seeing two Ospreys that were reported there was sadly, disappointing in that respect. The birds (of course! ) had already moved on .... but, what a highlight to spot a Great Egret and two Glossy Ibis ! I am hoping October brings the Jays back into my garden and Fieldfares whilst the roan still has some berries.
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