Monday, 12 June 2017

Saturday and Sunday 10th and 11th June

Wren (c) Bark
Turtle Dove interaction (c) Derek Latham
As we ease towards midsummers day the pace of life on the moor has changed. Everything is still fresh and lush and green and many birds are now taking advantage of the surge in invertebrate populations to feed clutches of nestlings.
Chiffy (c) JR
Already there are family parties of juvenile warblers and tits foraging in the bushes. As the season draws on they will increasingly coalesce into mixed species flocks, taking advantage of the security that comes from large numbers of eyes and ears.
Sedgie with food (c) JR
There are still good numbers of Cuckoos present and on Sunday we heard more of the female’s bubbling chuckling calls than the more conventional male “cuckoo”. Along the bridleway on Saturday morning there were two different females that were clearly staking out Reed Warbler nests, perching up in the tallest bushes from whence they could slip in and lay their eggs. The adult birds will soon be gone and over the next month we will see the emergence of young birds still being fed by their harassed and diminutive foster parents.
Cuckoo in the hedge (c) Bark
Halfway along the bridleway a Sedge Warbler has taken up noisy residence in a large tangled briar. Every year it seems we get a Sedge Warbler that performs out in the open and close to people, it then rapidly becomes the most photographed bird on the moor. This year the bridleway bird is the one. I have even seen visitors taking pictures of it on mobile phones it is so confiding. Sadly, a photographer (I assume) has been doing some “gardening” to make the principal perch more obvious, the bird now doesn’t use it and sings instead from deeper inside the rose. Sometimes things are best left alone!
Singing sedge . Pre-gardening! (c) Bark
Out at the reedbed and on the large lagoons there is plenty of action to see. The Marsh Harriers are ever present and on Sunday morning we saw three food passes, it still appears to us that there are two females and one male, the male seems to be supplying both females with prey. There has been much more Bittern activity to be seen from the first screen. On Sunday morning, we noted at least four different movements between nine and ten thirty. We think that there were two different individual birds involved we should be able to work out from photographs whether or not this is true, as the irregular patterns of wear in their primaries can be distinguished from photographs.
Bittern landing in the reeds. (c) JR
Finally, out in the northern lagoon the Tern raft is hosting more pairs than ever before. When the battery for its electric fence was changed last week, there were nine separate nests noted but as yet no chicks have hatched. The adult birds are ranging out over the whole reserve and out along the River Ray bringing small fish back for their mates.
Shoveller family at the second screen (c) Bark
More and more Dragonflies, Damselflies, Butterflies and other bugs are appearing. We stood and watched a patch of flowering brambles in the Roman Road and were impressed by just how many insect species were using them as a source of nectar or as somewhere from whence to ambush others or set their traps. A spectacular yellow and black spider seized and subdued a brilliant blue damselfly that had blundered into its web. When one takes the time and patience to look, it fascinates me to catch sight of these tiny dramas that are going on in just a few square metres of vegetation.
Spider ambush (c) JR

Bug pics (c) Bark

1 comment:

  1. I feel morning the best part of the day because it starts with birds chirping and I like cuckoos the most. Though I rarely get a chance to see it but its voice is so beautiful.