Today, 28th May, I just looked on the blue tit nest box camera and the two large chicks have flown. Over the past couple of weeks I had only noticed one adult bird entering the box with food so only the two strongest chicks survived. I suspect the other adult was caught by a cat or Sparrow Hawk. The black birds have flown and I think they are now having a second brood. Although the Wren built a lovely nest in a nest box it hasn't been used yet. Apparently male wrens can build many nests then take the female round and she chooses the one to lay her eggs in. I think the nest is in the garden somewhere as the birds are seen all the while. The bird feeders soon empty now that starlings have fledged, two adults and five young take some feeding! Really good to see Greenfinches back on the feeders after an absence of a couple of years and not just adults but young ones too. Apparently Greenfinches have been suffering from a disease originally picked up from feeding from dirty infected feeders and food. So clean feeders and fresh food is the answer and hopefully their numbers will pick up. Also good to see we still have a Coal tit still visiting one of the feeders so I should think it's got a nest nearby.
A couple of weeks ago, while on an early evening walk we were lucky enough to get good close views of a female Marsh Harrier just up from the sewerage works near the park drive. This is the second time we've seen one on an evening walk, the first was on Lodge farm a couple of years ago, and on both times I hadn't got my camera with me! Hopefully 3rd time lucky. The first of the Lapwing chicks are nigh on adult size but only last week there were some tiny ones barely a day or two old. Also very lucky to find a Skylarks nest with 4eggs. Various Coots have young and one pair of Mallard have 11 ducklings! I think there are 2 prs of Buzzards nesting on the farm this year with 2 more very local. Grey and Pied Wagtails already have fledged young and possibly 2prs of Yellow Wagtails just starting nesting. Linnets, Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers nesting round the small pond next to the lake.Quite a few nearly full grown Leveretts to be seen and the badger Cubs are nigh on the size of their parents. Many Muntjacs and the odd sighting of fox and stoat. Have seen many blue damselflies and the odd 4spot chaser dragonfly. I have spent the last few evenings getting some nice pictures of the Barn owl hunting over the field and rough ground in Silver end road. In the pictures you can see that it has caught Shrews, Voles, Mice, Moles and Rats! I think the youngsters must be growing very fast! - Dave Parsons