Sunday, 9 June 2013

Just a few egrets

Yes unfortunately we're back to more egret puns - but undoubtedly a seal of approval from the heron family in the new Hempholme Meadows habitat.  The reserves third great white egret record certainly a satisfying sight given the number of volunteer, Yorkshire Water contractor (and warden!) hours put into the restoration of the wet grassland.  A sea of buttercups this year compliments the impressive bird well as in this excellent shot by Martin Lonsdale:
More shots by Bill Eggleton:
Including this interesting aspect:
The great white was not seen yesterday but was picked up by Jeff Barker (another good picture on Flickr) this morning before flying off south down river.  Thanks to Roy Vincent too for these of little egrets as a useful comparison:
Elsewhere 5 little gulls, 5 common terns, unseasonable merlin on the approach road and jay in O woods.  Cuckoo's still on the go.  The ringing team managed a selection of young and fledgling birds today - including willow warbler, robin, wren and long tailed tit; more details as ever here.

Not a bad turn out for 'the quiet time of year.'  A great time to turn your eye to some of the other life on the reserve - marsh orchids in bloom now by Brian Spence:
Scorpion Fly:
Common Blue's:
And four spotted chaser:
For more insect updates including the excellent scorched wing see Martin's blog here - likely with updates soon on a hoped for three new species for site in three days.  Lots of warblers still calling - lesser whitethroat by Brian:
Reed Warbler by Tony Simpson:
And Roy:
Reed bunting also by Tony:

The now fledged tawny owl chicks from the East Scrub barn owl boxes by Roy L:
But perhaps the most eagerly anticipated reserve inhabitants are seemingly back - the kingfishers of North Marsh.  Thanks to Bill Eggleton for these great shots:
My own theory is that the kingfisher presence reflects the water temperature - when the water warms in late summer the ten and three spined sticklebacks on which it hunts rise higher in the water column into cooler surface water - making them easier to catch.  Thanks to Karen Williams for this one:
And Roy V for these:
Along with this short video of them hunting (along with a sneak peak of otter on the trail camera):