• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024


The Pet encyclopedia

Miscellaneous breeding activity

The breeding season is in full swing with quite a lot of
fledging activity, including choughs at various locations (some pairs are fledging their
young a bit earlier than usual). It was nice to see two recently fledged
waiting to be fed on the Eastern Cleddau the other day and three
recently fledged grey wagtails nearby.

Sand Martins were likely to be breeding along the river too and,
somewhat surprisingly, a single pair of sand martins has nested in a very busy dune blow-out area near Tenby. It seemed most unlikely that they would succeed here with so much human activity passing within a metre or so of the nest hole and the nest burrow is also easily accessible to mammal predators. However, the plucky pair has managed to rear at least one nestling here which was ready to
fledge when the nest-hole was checked yesterday. 

Swifts regularly feed over the Eastern Cleddau at Canaston,
where half a dozen or so are often present in the summer. We see them most times we pass by the area but we’re not sure where
these particular birds breed. The small and declining cliff-nesting swift population on the
Castlemartin peninsula was later arriving this spring. A few pairs are still
hanging on but the population is nowhere near as large or as extensive along
the limestone coast as it was 20+ years ago.

We have been checking for yellowhammer territories, helping
George Mee (NT) at Folkeston the other day and yesterday around Freshwater
East area, which also supports an important breeding population. It was also
great to see a singing male at Bosherston where we have not seen yellowhammers
for many years. Hopefully it means that there is still a small population in that area. 

A week ago, a male cuckoo was noted on the coast
near Freshwater East by one of us (Bob with Caroline Pickett). It might have
been a bird already starting to head back south after the breeding season. However,
one was calling all morning yesterday in the Martletwy and Landshipping area. We don’t often hear them here and although it is getting a bit late in the
season, perhaps there is still some late cuckoo breeding activity?