Saturday, 10 May 2014

Swift-tastic

This weekend was the Open Weekend down at Maple Lodge, our main recruiting fair so to speak. The weather was iffy to put it at best, which meant numbers were down throughout the day. The wind and the rain kept the wildlife, and wildlife spotters, down as well.
tow highlights through the day though. The first was the numbers of swifts going through. From the start of the day there were smallish flocks both over clubhouse and long hedge, and this carried on throughout the day. I would estimate the numbers to be in the hundreds but could be more. Difficult to give accurate counts as, obviously, they move so fast, and secondly you don't know how move straight through.  We also spent large amounts of time trying, and failing, to make them into pallid or alpine swifts without any luck. I also wasted lots of time trying to capture them in flight and my "best of the worst" shows i didn't succeed.

By Rotunda hide there was a garden warbler singing and showing well from the brambles for a lot of the day, along with reed warblers and the Cetti's (when will they nest???). 

Apart from these, a lone hobby was scant reward for a day that should have given good numbers, with low cloud and rain keeping the insects down and the swifts making a tempting target.
Still, i took two parties round the reserve and i think got at least 3 new members, which is what the day is more about, and the sun did shine occasionally.