Whilst our Barn Owls appear to have had a year off from breeding - linked to a fall in small mammal populations, Kestrels on the other hand appear to have done quite well. Brood sizes have been around average in the nests that we have monitored this year, and as usual, good numbers (mainly newly fledged young), have been present throughout the site - feeding amongst the hay cutting operations and using hay bales as vantage points from which to look out for small mammals, frogs, beetles and worms. This individual was photographed whilst it hunted successfully at North Duffield Carrs – one of six present in the same field. It’s a great time of year to watch birds of prey from the hides, with plenty of Buzzards and Marsh Harriers around, with Hobbies also appearing later in the evening as the Swallows gather to feed and roost on the Ings.
It’s hard to believe that even 20 years ago a sighting of
a Buzzard on the Ings would have been largely unheard of and a notable record – such is the
rapid range expansion and population increase that this species has
undergone. A total of 12 individuals were present on or viewable from the Carrs on this day.
As always when visiting the reserve please share your records with us by using the
hide log books or via our social media pages, thank you.