On 19th June, the second visit of a dedicated whinchat survey on Brynberian moor (for the National Park Authority) was made with the aim of finding nests to measure productivity. At first, it seemed that they had suffered the same fate as the wheatears nearby (see earlier post), with only one pair out of the first five feeding young, but happily the remaining 10 pairs had 8 nests full to the brim with nestlings. Altogether 33 were ringed with two broods not yet ready. Most of the nests were hidden in bracken.
|Whinchat brood trying to look like a bit of bracken|
At 15 pairs, this site is the stronghold of the Pembs breeding whinchat population which is only thought to be 25 pairs in total following a significant decline and range contraction. The aim of the survey is to record their habitat requirements in detail to help make sure a core population is maintained.
|whinchat nestling only a few days off fledging|