On the first of the month, I watched House Martins at Moor Green Lakes, Berkshire, gathering mud from a small puddle for nest building and then flying off towards a house and stables nearby only to return a few minutes later for another load until the job was done, which usually takes about ten days. That's a lot of coming and going and a lot of mud.
On the 6th, I went to Thursley Common, Surrey with an old friend and colleague, Brian who took me to an area where a Redstart and Treecreeper pair were feeding young. Amazingly the Redstart was only a few feet away from the Treecreeper in another tree, with a pair of Great tits a foot or so underneath the Redstarts.
I was hoping to see Hobby whilst I was there but none were seen, even though there were plenty of Dragonflies about.
On the 12th, I went to Moor Green, to see if the Mediterranean Gull chicks had hatched, but surprisingly the female was still sitting on the nest. Not long afterwards, the male arrived to take up incubation duties.
The incubation period for this species is on average about twenty five days, which can be slightly longer if the early days of incubation is disturbed. I thought at the time that hatching was a bit overdue and I remembered that the birds had to defend their nest at the start from nuisance Black Headed Gulls, so it would possibly be a few more days of incubation to go.
I returned on the 26th only to find the male sitting tight on the nest.
As it was long after the incubation period, I began to wonder if the first clutch of eggs were infertile and that the female had laid a second clutch which were being incubated.
I will be visiting Moor Green again shortly, so hopefully I will have better news on my next blog.
A bonus sighting for the day were a pair of Black Terns, which arrived at the reserve from the N/W, circled the gull/tern colony three times and then flew off, heading N/E.