Midsummer flocks and movements

The nesting season is currently at peak, both for the range of species nesting and for many individual taxa (e.g. finches, larks, warblers). Yet a few species have already completed their breeding cycles and are now more widely in evidence. Many Mistle Thrushes are forming post-breeding flocks – I counted 31 in a gathering at one site earlier this week. Most of the Crossbill population nests in late winter, and from late spring onwards many of them move (‘irrupt’) to find new areas with supplies of conifer seeds – they’ve been very evident in recent days, and may be seen or heard calling over any location, with or without suitable trees. Another early nesting species is Goshawk – at the sole (confidential) site where I’ve been able to monitor progress the young have fledged from the nest, with probably three juveniles calling nearby in the woodland.

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