Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Wknd 16-17 June

Mainly atlassing at present trying to improve breeding evidence so not a great deal to post as "news"! The male Yellow Wagtail continues to hold territory at Penston, singing from the shed roof and in song flight over the field east. On Tuesday evening after watching the shed for a while I heard its song from the other direction and there it was on the fence at the east end of said field, off the bend in the road. Did not linger to have its picture taken, slightly better effort than last above. It seems clear now that this bird is not feeding young, so there is no active nest, at least not yet, and despite the extended residence in mid-June neither has there been any sign of a second bird so either its mate is very tied down on a nest (in which case would Mr not be providing her with food? - no, apparently this is exceptional, per BWP) or what seems more likely this an unpaired bird on the very edge of their range here. Also per BWP "unpaired ♂♂ may sing thus for lengthy periods (Dittberner, H. & W., 1984, in German)."

Also remarkable but in a negative sense is lack of local Quail so far - having now spent a fair amount of time round Falside Hill, Buxley, New Winton, Tranent, Macmerry, Penston, Elvingston, Redcoll and so on, all occupied at times in previous years, not a squeak! Also Grasshopper Warblers are very thin on the ground locally, nothing at all from Blindwells recently though it may be true that they are very quite when active with broods. But I suspect they are down. BirdTrack confirms down nationally to early June.


  1. In contrast, I saw a juvenile Yellow Wagtail on Monday at Torness. There was a Gropper still singing at Aberlady on Tuesday.

  2. Great to see that, a pretty early fledging then - with c. 16 days to fledge must have hatched by start of month, c. 12 days to hatching means they were nest building in early May; first records there were 2 on 1 May and 4 on 14 May, they got underway pretty sharpish then - guess that's why they came here! The Penston bird may actually have been around for a similar period, who knows, never checked there before last week...