Saturday, 28 May 2011

Bee-eater, but not as you know it

Yesterday was the last session before half term, and also the final visit to the most consistently fascinating location in this rather strange May. The chicks in the Great Tit nest spotted last week are almost ready to fledge, and it was discovered that the parents seemed to be feeding them almost exclusively on a small species of Bumble bee! (see pics below). The Cuckoos put on a great show for the morning crowd with several flypasts, including 2 while we were having lunch, but were only heard in the distance during the afternoon. The Turtle Doves failed to put in an appearance for either season, but it was rather overcast, and the afternoon was punctuated by 2 prolonged heavy showers. The doves weren't even heard purring, but after the afternoon season had hit the road, Chris Cox arrived, and he managed to photograph one in the most reliable place on the telegraph wires. All three Great Crested Grebe chicks have survived into their 3rd week of life, so things look quite promising for them. A Kingfisher was reported nesting in the bank of one of the lakes last weekend, but this was checked by Chris Cox earlier in the week, and we confirmed it was indeed a pair of Blue Tits which are re-using a Kingfisher hole from last year! I've not heard of Blue Tits doing this before, and it must be rather a smelly environment for the young chicks!

Great Tit specialising in Bees


Juvenile Whitethroat (c) 2011 Chris Cox

Meadow Pipit - don't look too closely at what it has in its bill!

Turtle Dove (c) 2011

Immature Great Crested Grebe

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