|Fledging Blue Tit (c) B&T Miller|
The major excitement this weekend was provided not by a rare or unusual sighting, but by what we ended up referring to as our own particular “Springwatch” moment. On Sunday morning we were gripped by the dramatic fledging and first flights of six Blue Tit chicks. They flew from the nest box attached to the pumphouse at the start of the bridleway.
|Snake and Blue Tits (c) Bark|
|Being tempted out D&T Miller|
|Struggling through (c) Bark|
|Anxious male and chick (c) Bark|
Elsewhere there were still at least four Cuckoos chasing round and calling, soon we will be seeing the females waiting on bushes or sitting on fence posts along the bridleway looking for the chance to lay their egg in a temporarily vacant Reed Warbler nest. Half way along the bridleway there is a very loud and vociferous Garden Warbler that sings not from the depth of the bushes but right out in the open.
|Singing Garden Warbler (c) JR|
|Raft (c) Bark and Tern (c) JR|
|Shoveller and "trowels" (c) Bark|
The Bitterns have almost stopped booming now and we heard just a few rather half-hearted calls as we returned from the second screen. A lone Lapwing was feeding close to the Ashgrave hide on the muddy edge that has been poached up by the cattle. Watching it carefully I noticed something I hadn’t seen before. Just as a Little Egret agitates the bottom to stir up food the Lapwing places its’ foot down and trembles it presumably to stimulate worms and other invertebrates to come to the surface.
|Knee trembling lapwing (c) Bark|
The year list moved on again with the addition on Saturday of the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year and today a Grey Plover over Greenaways.
|Red-eyed Damselfly and Cardinal Beetle (c) Paul Greenaway|
The lush growth has stimulated the insect fauna and we have seen Red eyed Damselflies, many more Four Spotted Chasers plus Cardinal Beetles lurking in the cow Parsley.
|Turtle Dove preening (c) Bark|