Friday, 26 June 2009

Spots, Beards & Shanks

Bearded Tit (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Spotted Redshank (c) 2009 Vince Cowell ditto
ditto (right)
L to r: Spotted Redshank, Lapwing, Spotted Redshank & Ruff (male)
Sedge Warbler (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Black-tailed Godwits (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Reed Bunting
Ringlet (c) 2009 David Ware
Scorpion-Fly (c) 2009 David Ware
David Ware reports we had 47 species today, some of them quite striking. This includes c.12 Spotted Redshank – a couple at Marshland, more than 10 at Townend, and one dropped into Singleton late on. The views of these were uncharacteristically fine, and we were able to see that the legs were black, which is normally only seen on their breeding grounds. In a few weeks’ time these will be red, and their plumage will be much paler! Unfortunately, it was very overcast today, so Vince is not satisfied with the images he obtained. There were also half-a-dozen male Ruff in various stages of undress, but most of them still displaying a fair amount of their amazing neckwear. In contrast to these rather tatty individuals there was one smart heavily-blotched Reeve. There were also several summer-plumaged Black-tailed Godwits displaying their orange-red fronts. There were plenty of Bearded Tits all around the reserve, but they were usually fairly elusive. 2 early birds (‘students’) managed good views of a few at Marshland, and eventually the afternoon session saw 5 fly from one area of reeds to another from First Hide. Just before we were about to wrap for the week a female or juvenile remained on top of the reeds opposite that hide long enough for everyone to get good views. Early indications are it’s been a good breeding season for Bearded Tits, as there also seem to be plenty at Far Ings. There were c8 Green Sandpiper (which is a good number for this species), plus 2 Little Ringed Plover, a Greenshank, a Wigeon in eclipse & several Gadwall, Pochard, and a single Shelduck. There were also 6 Heron, plus one flyover Bittern. There were still several Avocets on show, including one immature, a Barn Owl peeped out of its box, and a pair of Stock Doves flew near the Barnie’s nesting-place. Among the passerines there were still singing Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers and a Reed Bunting; but the Reed Warblers were completely silent, although we did eventually see one in the afternoon. Hirundines were also noticeable by their absence, but at lunchtime several similar-looking Swifts were above the visitor centre. What about raptors? I hear you ask. Only one species was seen – just those you take for granted at this location – Marsh Harriers – at least three were visible at any one time.

1 comment:

Dale Forbes said...

that reedling is wonderful