|Red Legged Partridge|
|Linnets on cattle pen|
|Redshank Chick all pics(c) Badger|
Low cloud and a keen, chilly breeze meant that the moor felt a lot colder than the thermometer might have suggested. Up until midday most things were keeping well out of sight and out of the wind. Long meadow and the Roman Road areas were the most sheltered and the most productive in terms of dragonflies and other invertebrates. Downy Emeralds are being seen regularly down there again and must surely be counted now as a breeding species. The first Broad bodied chasers of the year were also seen in the same location on Sunday.
It is a very good area to compare and contrast the songs of Garden Warbler and Blackcap. Both species are present and in good voice and when they can be heard in such close proximity it is much easier to differentiate between them. However I know that by next spring I will have to learn the songs all over again!
There are still three singing Turtle Doves that have taken up residence in different parts of the reserve and they could be seen and heard over the sound of the wind both mornings. New for the year was a Quail heard calling from Closes on Sunday morning. It called briefly but long enough to be sure of its i.d. Out at the place where the second screen used to be, the Common Terns seem to be sitting although there was a time yesterday morning when no bird was present. The Herons continue to thrive in the nest in front of the hide. This morning a Great Crested Grebe swam into sight with three stripy passengers on its back. It had clearly nested somewhere in the depths of the reedbed. Looking away from the water at the flooded field on the western side, there were twelve Little Egrets but sadly nothing either taller or with a spatulate bill. An added bonus was a drake Garganey feeding among the flooded sedges.
Marsh Harrier, Hobbies, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were seen alongside the ubiquitous Red Kites and Buzzards. Careful looking will reveal both Lapwing and Redshank chicks usually accompanied by nervous and protective parents. I am hoping that the longer grass will help hide them from threats from above they certainly need something.