Friday, 17 May 2013

17th May

The Avalon Marshes are really buzzing right now! I had a very enjoyable morning out on Shapwick Heath NNR, the hoped-for migrant waders were in short supply (just 1 Ringed Plover and 20 Black-tailed Godwits) but local summer wildlife is almost out in full force now. 
There has clearly been a big hatch of odonata recently, as walking through dewy grass this morning, Blue-tailed and Azure Damselflies were flickering up everywhere.

Blue-tailed Damselfly
 Higher up, plenty of Hobbies are feeding on the flying insects, often giving superb low flyovers

And there's a constant background sound of singing Reed Warblers. I don't think there's any spot on the reserve where you can't hear several of these from.
Reed Warbler taking a break from singing to check me out

And of course, it's rare for a day to go by without something un-expected making an appearance. Today the surprise came in the form of a Red Kite that drifted over with a few thermalling Buzzards.
The wings on this bird look a bit strange as it is moulting a few of its flight feathers. Old, worn feathers are replaced with new ones, and this is done symmetrically on each wing so as to have minimum effect on aerodynamics.
Red Kite
Also seen on the Avalon Marshes today: A Crane was at Catcott Lows this morning. Apparently it was not bearing a colour-ring from the Great Crane Project and so was most likely a wild bird

1 comment:

  1. Some nice shots. The red kite is a good example of moult. Be worth using that one in a guide as an example of Moult vs Maltese Moult.


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