Friday, 17 May 2013

Friday 17th. May 2013

Oh for yesterday's sun , it was almost back to Winter today .
So , on my way back home yesterday afternoon , I stopped on the causeway at Bough Beech , but with no serious birders about , and the water level still very high , I guessed that there would be nothing special about . Sure enough , the main , and really the only attraction , were the Common Terns on the wing looking for a meal . As I made my way back to the car , two Terns swooped low below the roadside hedge , but didn't reappear . I got the camera from the car and carefully made my
way to the hedge . Looking over , I found the two birds , perched on a piece of driftwood , no more than 20 metres away , on the waters edge . I thought that any second they would see me and be off , but my presence didn't seem to worry them . I believe that from what occurred later , the female is on the left . They sat preening and 'chatting' , until the chat from the female became a constant tirade
towards the male . He seemed to get the message and took off from his perch , no doubt to get away from the noise as anything . He cruised around the North Lake with the other terns , every now and
then dipping down , but then carrying on searching . He seemed to make a point of hovering almost directly overhead of the female , no doubt to show off his prowess to the female , but it only served
for her to get even noisier . He searched for ages , but came back empty billed , which only started
another tirade from the female , this being him listening to her . But , it did re-energise him , and he was soon back on the wing . While he was out of sight of the female , she fell silent , which was a relief to all concerned . But , when the male came into sight , and carrying a fish , the noise ratcheted
up again and even surpassed her loudest . At least the fish would quieten her down I thought , and

that moment was so close . But , at the last second , the male decided to abort the food pass , and the
female went ballistic . From the look of it , the male was repositioning the fish to pass to the female , but all she wanted was the fish . Then , when he got himself sorted , he managed to get himself
directly between the female and the camera . But at least it did silence the female , for as long as it
took to swallow the fish . No sooner had the male touched down on his perch , she was screaming at him for more . He duly obliged , and I headed home , with her screaming still in my ears .
This afternoon in the gloom , I had a walk around the Common and was pleased to find both LTTs ,
foraging for food for what must be youngsters in the nest , great news . But I have to weigh that off against the Brimstone caterpillar found by first finding a Buckthorn leaf with small holes in it , just
what the LTTs would be looking for . And what tree was the LTT photographed in ?
And finally , whilst on the Common a Lancaster  appeared briefly above the tree tops , having just
taken off from Biggin Hill , probably the one that was in the Dam Buster tribute yesterday at the Derwent Dam .


Warren Baker said...

That would have been cold on that causway today Greenie!

Terns are always value for money birds, as are the Long Tailed Tits :-)

Marc Heath said...

Lovely flight shots of the Terns, nicely captured.