Friday, 14 June 2013

Gull Bombards Swan

On Thursday the weather forecast was dreadful, so we headed over to North Cave Wetlands. Phil logged 43 species in the am, which is actually fewer than last week's Thurs venue, but there just seemed to be a lot more of everything. 

Immature Long-tailed Tit
 Willow Warbler
 Dunnock Fledgling
The walk to the first hide produced Tufted Duck, and a very noisy pair of Oystercatchers kept flying over followed by a single Lapwing. A flock of c9 Shelduck was slightly unusual, and then we reached the hide. From here there were the usual suspects including Pochard, Little Grebes, Cormorant, Lapwing, Black-headed Gulls, but also a Common Tern. Suddenly everything took to the air, and at first it was impossible to see the cause, but then a Peregrine Falcon hove into view. Unfortunately it quickly disappeared again before everyone had seen it. 3 Little ringed Plovers, some Avocets and a few Common terns were the best birds on the deck of Dryham Ings, whilst Swifts and Sand Martins flew busily overhead. 
Mute Swan Family
 Juvenile Long-tailed Tit
The walk along the back produced a family of baby Long-tailed Tits, and a family of Blackcaps being fed and an immature Dunnock. At Reedbed lake there were both Sedge and Reed Warblers, and a singing Reed Bunting. The most noticeable thing on the island were the families of Black-headed Gulls, but there were also Avocets and a single pair of Common Terns hunkered down on the mud. 4 adult Lesser Black-backed gulls were sat on the edge of one of the islands, whilst the threatening presence of an immature loomed nearby. As a shower began we high-tailed it to the Turret hide. From here the best sighting were e Reed Warblers which were busy leaving the reedbed and came to the bushes right next to hide for the insects. the class sat marvelling as the individual warbler was kept busy collecting insects a,ong the willow, but then started to gather up tiny midges which were flying just at the top of the bush. 
Immature Coots
 Little Ringed Plover
 Reed Bunting
 Wasp Beetle
 From the final hide one of the most interesting sights was a Black Swan which seemed to be making advances on a Mute Swan. its partner kept trying to object, but each time he was seen off by the more aggressive Black Swan. However, the Black-headed gulls began to dive bomb him for his amorous attempts brought him too close to their young. Just before we finished were a pair of Little Grebes which had 2 youngsters. Another adult Little Grebe strayed too close, and he was seen off by the angry parents, who left their young dangerously isolated, as they chased it away. However, no harm was done as no predator took advantage of the parents' absence.
Black on Black - Swan avoiding Gull
 Black After White - pestering a female Mute
 Drinker Moth Caterpillar

The afternoon was mainly spent trying to avoid the heavy rain showers, not always successfully.

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