Author Archive

14th June 2012, Thursday

Five weeks

When I arrived at the Parkes Hide this morning to hopefully get some last pictures of the five week old fledged Black-headed Gull it had gone. But before I left the hide it flew in being chased by several aggressive unfamiliar adults and made a rather hurried landing in the water near the nest. Not long after returning the youngster received a meal from one of the parents, so despite leaving the nest site for long periods it knows were to head for when food is needed. I don’t suppose I shall actually find out at which point the young bird is left to fend for itself. As previous posts have shown growing up on Ternery Pool is a bit of a lottery, I hope the youngster has  a winning ticket for the difficult weeks ahead.

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Arrived back at the nest site, although in rather a hurry. Read the rest of this entry »

12th June 2012, Tuesday

Compound eyes

I came across a female Emperor dragonfly this morning dormant, cold, wet and laying in the grass. It’s not often you get a chance to get close to these aerial masters, it was fasinating to see the way the water droplets on the eyes had magnified the surface showing a small proportion of the thousands of ommatidia.

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11th June 2012, Monday

Castle Water

Highlights this morning included 38 Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, 2 Hobby, Barn Owl, 150 Swift and 30 Swallow.

8th June 2012, Friday

A tad blowy

Not ideal conditions for the nesting birds at Ternery Pool today. Gale force winds blasted the new islands and left the chicks struggling to find a wind break. Many were resourceful and used what was available, queing up behind the adults was a common tactic although most just had to sit it out.

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Three chicks using adult as wind break Read the rest of this entry »

7th June 2012, Thursday

Familar place to rest

The Black-headed Gull youngster is now four weeks old and making small flights around nesting area, the ties to the nest site are still strong though and the best place to take a rest. You can see how far the chick has come, the second picture shows the chick only a few days old and on its own at the nest.

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3rd June 2012, Sunday

More dragonflies

At Castle Water since last monday Emperor and Black-tailed Skimmer have been emerging. Adults of both species are on the wing during sunny periods and are easily found patrolling the margins at the northern end of Castle Water. The viewpoint is probably the best place to see Downy Emerald, while the ditch on the approach to the hide is a good place to watch Hairy Dragonfly and Four-spotted Chaser.

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Emperor Read the rest of this entry »

1st June 2012, Friday

Flight feathers

The Black-headed Gull youngster has been busy flexing its wing muscles today and showing nicely the developing flight feathers. The precise pattern of the primaries, secondaries, tertials, greater primary coverts and greater secondary coverts can all be seen in the pictures below. The young bird is becoming more adventurous and is already showing the inherent squabbling that it so characteristic of Black-headed Gulls within the breeding colony. See pictures below.

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Exercising the wing muscles Read the rest of this entry »

31st May 2012, Thursday

Update on the chick

The Black-headed Gull chick is now three weeks old, doing well, and of course always ready to hassle the adults for a meal.  The youngster is gradually losing the fluffy look as the main flight feathers are coming through, this time next week all being well it should be ready for lift off. Look at the second picture below to see the chick with its two siblings on the 11th of this month.

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29th May 2012, Tuesday

Rye Harbour

Obviously highlights will reflect the fact that we are now mid way through the breeding season. Lapwing, Redshank, Avocet, Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover have all got young at various stages of growth on Harbour Farm and the Beach Reserve. Sadly many pairs of Avocet have failed due to predation, but failed pairs are still trying to nest on the islands on Harbour Farm. At least 24 Little Tern  have been present around shore ridges, the fine weather recently has certainly helped them get their act together and nesting pairs should become clearer over the next few days. Otherwise stand out highlights have been 9 Turnstone along shore ridges and 10 Little Egret feeding on flat beach. At Castle Water Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tit and Barn Owl have been frequent from the viewpoint.

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Avocets this morning on Harbour Farm. Read the rest of this entry »

28th May 2012, Monday

Castle Water

Butterfly highlights from the hide area today included Brown Argus, Common Blue, Small Copper, Small Heath, Speckled Wood and Comma.

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Brown Argus