Thursday, 1 July 2010

The terning year

Things are starting to move again on the bird front now. The common terns have dispersed from their gravel island and some of the young are fully fledged and practicing hunting as below.

In a matter of days this bird will leave for the west coast of Africa – pretty incredible when its parents only arrived 2 months ago. Other birds are still following their parents about closely but are on the verge of flying too. It has been very difficult to get an accurate count due to the presence of late breeders and transient birds all apparently on the breeding island, but we believe 11 young have fledged so far

Another bird that is difficult to count is the little grebe which go to ground during breeding season, but some success has been seen in the form of this youngster on South Marsh East.

Great-crested grebe have again bred on the marsh – usually distant but the youngster can be just seen on its parents back in this shot.

The little ringed plover family are fully flying now and the two young seem to be operational pestering their parent below.

Green sandpipers like this individual have been frequenting Watton in numbers of up to 4. Over the weekend a pair of hobby also delighted onlookers, hawking dragonfly for up to 45 minutes over the water.

Not pictured but also present have been the little gulls with numbers of up to 8 now present and hopefully will reach of average later in the month of approx 120. Also on D res over the weekend was an adult Mediterranean gull which came in to roost, and in the woods one of the willow tits was seen today. Lapwing have bred in the somewhat overshadowed North Marsh but have a chick showing well from the hide with both Tony McLean and Martin Hodges getting good shots.
If you are trying to catch up with the stoats they now seem to have moved under the sewage plant near North Lagoon (at 4pm on the 1st of July at any rate). This was a known former mink den so it is positive the stoats feel it safe enough to leave their young under here. Likewise a weasel was also seen carrying its young about near East Pond.
Dragonfly numbers are picking up rapidly with common darter and many black tailed skimmers on the wing below.

One Agapanthea villosoviridescens thought the uniform of the Tweendyke’s school visit on Thursday was most favourable below.

And Maurice Gordon snapped this mayfly sp. on his glasses the other night they were so plentiful – possibly Caenis horaria?

Luckily Doug Fairweather cleared up the ID of the fly in the last post – it is Tachina fera – a parasite of caterpillar and moth larvae.