Thursday, 12 August 2010

Thursday 12th.August 2010

So , there I was , standing at the end of the Fleet , watching the male Marsh Harrier gain height to clear the wires , before dropping down onto the Fleet itself , unaware of what would unfold in the next hour and a half . Within minutes , a Common Buzzard flew overhead , and was challenged almost immediately by a very dark juvenile Marsh Harrier .
I kept seeing white rumps and flocks of small birds wheeling around . Some I could see were
Linnets , and eventually caught the other species on camera , Yellow Wagtail , together with one of the white rumps , Wheatear . The Yellow Wagtails were constantly moving on , but my best estimate would be a maximum of 25/30 at any one time .The Wheatears stayed for some time and I estimated 10/15 of them , most busily feeding , but some just resting up .Whilst watching the Wheatear , a Red-legged Partridge , with five young , appeared from nowhere and disappeared just as quickly .A large flock of Starlings rising as one , alerted me to my second Hobby of the day , flying low over the ground , trying to spook it's prey . Whilst watching the Hobby , a movement on the slope where I photographed the Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail , turned out to be two Stoats , but they had disappeared into the long grass before I could get a shot .I was disappointed not getting a shot , when one of them breaks out of the grass , and runs up the road , then across into the field on the other side . I thought , will the other one follow ? I set up the tripod and waited .Sure enough , out of the grass pops the other Stoat , further along the road , but is then swooped upon by a Kestrel . But the evasive action of the Stoat worked , and it joined the other one in the field , and the Kestrel flew off somewhat bemused by the whole affair .Just before leaving Capel Fleet , I got a fly past from a dark juvenile Marsh Harrier , that could well have been the one that tackled the Common Buzzard . I had to pass the entrance to RSPB Elmley on my way home , and couldn't resist one more look along the track . The Starling numbers seemed to have increased even from the morning , with lots of juveniles .
My decision worked out well , when I found a single Yellow Wagtail along the track .
And finally , whilst processing some more of the shots , I came across this one , which at the time I thought were 4 juvenile Swallows , preening themselves on the wires , outside the Ladies Toilet , which is why I assumed they were Swallows . But a closer look , and I think they are Sand Martins .


Phil said...

Exciting stuff Greenie, nicely illustrated with some super action shots.
Don't you just love it when the unexpected happens!

Adam said...

Great action shots Greenie! Adam

Wilma said...

Very exciting! Great stuff.

Ken Browne. said...

Well done on a great trip to The Island Greenie.
I agree with you, the birds on the wire do look like Sand Martins.
The Island is a good place to be at the moment, the birds are dropping in from their breeding grounds now, and hanging around.

Kingsdowner said...

Nice timing for your trip to Sheppey!
Great action.