Newton Harcourt and Wistow Walk – 21st May 2017
Ten GGCWS members spent two hours this morning in the Newton Harcourt /Wistow area.
Our target bird was Spotted Flycatcher. "Spot Flies" breed in the parish most years but have been elusive so far this summer with just one reported sighting. The call is very similar to a number of other noises so we were pleased when a probable Spotted Flycatcher call, followed by scanning the nearby trees, led to John Martin finding the bird. Unfortunately not everyone managed to see it; well done to those who obtained a view, commiserations to others.
Our total bird list for the morning, seen or heard, was 35. I am listing them in the order used in the Collins Field Guides. Views on the "correct" taxonomic order vary from source to source. The basic principle is that the oldest families of birds come first with some variations to bring closer together, birds that have some physical similarities. This is obviously helpful in using a field guide to aid identification.
Mute Swan (pair with 6 cygnets), Canada Goose, Mallard, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail (male collecting food), Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Wren, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit (family party), Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.
The insects seen included a Large Red Damselfly, a Caddis Fly and a Speckled Wood butterfly. The plants we stopped to look at included: Green Alkanet (with Cow Parley and Red Campion), Large Bitter-cress (by the canal), Water Dock, Pendulous Sedge and the first Flag Iris flower of the year.