Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tuesday 7th. May 2013

An early morning visit , which turned out to be the best part of the day , found Bough Beech Reservoir looking like a millpond . I did make a stop at the Oast House and hide , but with very low water levels , things were quiet , apart from a distant pair of Swallows in the top of the dead tree in
the orchard . Mind you , it was like watching recent butterfly pairs , as the bird still in flight never did manage to complete it's probable intentions . On the causeway , the main interest were the Common

Terns , with at least ten , but probably more , making their presence heard . I don't know if they have young yet , but from what seemed their favourite fishing area , the North Lake , the noise level
increased when a fish was caught , and taken immediately to the rafts on the main reservoir . Whilst
watching the Terns fly over the causeway , this Corvid flew by , without calling . Another noisy interlude was when three pairs of Great Crested Grebes decided to invade the Willows by the causeway , where a fourth pair have probably nested . Not worried about numbers , the male , I
assume , of the nesting pair took on the other six head on . Looking like a surface missile he soon had
the enemy turned and running , and once dispatched , the wife , on the right , came out to tell him what a brave boy he was . Unusually , along the waterline of the main reservoir , I had spotted 3
Common Sandpipers , normally they would be well away from the causeway . But today , they were
feeding quite happily . Interspersed with the feeding sessions were low to the water flights , calling continuously . But when 2/3 more birds arrived things started to get heated . I'm not sure if the birds
were displaying or whether it was two males fighting . A Common Buzzard high up over the
Greensand Ridge and a single flyover Lapwing , and I moved along to near the Tern rafts , an area where I have been lucky with Garden Warbler in the past . But today , I had to make do with
Common Whitethroat . I did hear a Cuckoo in the distance , but never saw the bird .
Having to cross the Greensand Ridge on my way home , I stopped for a look in now overcast but humid conditions , that I thought would be good for reptiles . How wrong I was , a lot of walking ,
and just a single Grass Snake for the effort . The opaque eye of this animal indicating that it is soon to slough it's skin . A couple of plants found on the way round :
My first Red Campion - Silene dioica , a member of the Pink family , in flower ,
and the tiny flowered Thyme-leaved Speedwell - Veronica sublobata , a member of the Figwort family .


Marianne said...

That shot of the displaying sandpipers is amazing. I've seen (on TV!) male Buff-breasted Sandpipers in North America performing a similar wing-raising display. Good to hear the terns are back at BB, it's lovely to watch them from the causeway of a morning :)

Marc Heath said...

Great set of shots Greenie, like that smart Grass Snake shot.

ShySongbird said...

Great Swallow capture Greenie and fascinating sandpiper encounter.