Saturday, 5 June 2021

Plumstone Mountain, Friday - Cuckoos, Flycatchers, Yellowhammers

A Cuckoo was calling intermittently from the south side of the heath at Plumstone Mountain, towards Robleston Mountain and Twmpath. In previous years it has favoured a couple of dead trees just over the fence, but there was no sign of it despite a close search. Coincidentally and like an earlier post, we heard one calling from Pen Caer last Sunday, somewhere east of Lady's Gate and, despite being close, did not see that one either.

 A Yellowhammer was much more obliging and showing off in the sun on top of the gorse in the southeast by the pony paddock, with two for the price of one in the picture below apparently.  There were plenty of young Stonechats, Whitethroats and Linnets around, 24 in one flock of the latter, possibly an extended family outing.

In Causeway Plantation nearby, was a Spotted Flycatcher obviously provisioning a nest at the top of a dead conifer. The nest site is apparently in a former Woodpecker nest and at risk of predation, especially with a current Great Spotted Woodpecker nest less than 100m away. It was notable that the flycatcher was at least sensible enough not to visit the nest when the woodpecker was calling in the area.

By contrast, a visit to a north Pembrokeshire wood last weekend, showed the success of nest box schemes for Pied Flycatchers. Both adults were provisioning the nest and both can be seen in the first picture, the female being out of focus and relaxing in the background. The male was also removing a faecal sac in one of the pictures.