We’ve reached the time of year when spotting birds in woodland can be quite difficult, the trees are in full leaf, birds are no longer in full song and many individuals begin to skulk whist going through the process of moulting. It is during this period when the ability to identify birds by contact calls, a series of two or three short notes, can greatly enhance woodland birding for example, you pick up the soft ‘huitt’ of a willow warbler gleaning insects from a willow, the harsh ‘teck’ of a blackcap feeding on freshly ripened guelder rose berries, the short flute notes of a bullfinch family feeding on the seeds of ground flora or the mewing of common buzzards as the glide over the tree canopy.
A Badger Watch on the 4th produced excellent views of three badgers emerging from the sett, including one individual having a good grooming session at the sett entrance. Pipistrelle bat activity was high on our return to the Visitor Centre, with lots of ‘feeding buzzes’ heard on the detector as bats homed in on their insect prey.
Another great sighting on the reserve was that of a tree sparrow near the boardwalk (3rd) this species, like many other farmland birds, has declined significantly and can be distinguished from the more familiar house sparrow via its ginger head and black spots on the cheeks.
A tree sparrow became bird species number 74 on my reserve bird list (C) Amy Lewis
The riverside track between Bonnington Weir and the Bonnington Entrance is particularly good for wildflowers at the moment, with meadow sweet, valerian, lady’s bedstraw, ragged robin and meadow vetchling putting on a fine display.
Other interesting sightings included, 1x grey heron (Visitor Centre, daily), 1x goosander (Boardwalk, occasional), peregrine falcon (pair, Peregrine Watch Site, occasional), kingfisher (Boardwalk, daily), dipper (Bonnington Linn, regular), garden warbler (Woodland Trail, occasional), jay (Woodland Trail, daily) and yellowhammer (Bonnington Pavilion, daily).
Adam Jones – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Seasonal Ranger
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