Sunday, 15 July 2012

Happy St. Swithin's Day!

As everyone knows on the 15th July, St. Swithin's Day.  If it's rains on this day then expect it to rain for the next 40 days and nights.  And if it's fine weather, then expect that for the next 40 days and nights.  It's been a fine and sunny day today, so come on St. Swithin, do your stuff and give us a dry spell!

Over at Uttoxeter Quarry, the main gravel pit these days is connected to the River Dove, so the water level goes up and down with the river.  It's noticeable that flood waters do recede relatively quickly, so at least for today there's a bit of shoreline on offer, but a dry few weeks would of course expose more.

It was enough for decent selection of waders considering the circumstances, and getting a nice little run of birds going of late.  The main highlight being the first Greenshank of the year, along with 7 Common and 4 Green Sandpipers, 2 Redshank, 2 Dunlin, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 86 Lapwings.  The family of Spotted Flycatchers with two youngsters were still around, as was this male Redstart.  Not quite as smart as he would be in the spring, but still rather dapper.

No such luck with receding water levels at Blithers.  If the water recedes at all this summer?  Certainly hope it does.  But a scan from the causeway revealed good counts of 33 Common Terns over the water, and 8 Common Sandpipers along the wall of the causeway.

Finishing the day off at Branston Gravel Pits.  Another Greenshank here, and nearer than the Uttoxeter bird to have it's picture taken.

Other birds here included 3 Green Sandpipers, 3 Ringed Plovers, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin, 18 Curlew, 1 Oystercatcher, 2 Red-legged Partridge, 2 Green Woodpeckers and a Raven.

No pressure St. Swithin, but we've had enough rain now, it's not funny any more!

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