Sunday, 28 April 2013

28th April: Shapwick Hobbies

One of the highlights of Spring (and indeed the year!) on the Avalon Marshes is the acrobatic display of feeding Hobbies. The Hobby is a small falcon that winters in Africa and breeds throughout Europe. The high numbers of insects on the Avalon Marshes (one of the many benefits of a large area receiving no pesticide input) makes the area a perfect place for migrating Hobbies to stop off and feed to re-fuel on their journey North. The birds have only just started arriving, and their usual prey of dragonflies have not emerged yet, but there has been a big hatch of some sort of fly (possibly St. Marks Fly?) which seem to be providing a decent food source. Noah's Lake was the place to see these birds today, as around 12-15 were giving incredible views in front of the hide. The light wasn't great but I managed to get a few nice photos, which I hope convey the dashing agility of these wonderful little raptors.
It is still early in the season for Hobbies, up to 70 have been recorded at later dates in the Spring, making this surely the best place in the country to see them!

A fly-by Bittern was a nice bonus too


  1. Nice shots of Hobby Joe! I'll have to try and get down to the Levels again soon.

  2. Thanks Jenny! Yes, do come back soon, the next few weeks are the best time of year to be here I reckon


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