Monday, 3 June 2013

3rd June

The breeding season might have been delayed by the cold weather earlier in the season, but it seems as though the birds on the Avalon Marshes have timed their nesting to perfection. The last few days have seen a sudden boom in the number of young birds leaving the nest, co-inciding nicely with the perfect weather at the moment. Eggs and small chicks are fairly safe from wet, cold weather as the adults are able to shelter them comfortably, but the bigger the chicks grow, the harder it becomes to keep them all covered. Young birds often have soft, downy feathers, which are great at keeping them insulated, but don't keep the rain out very well, so if they are too big to use their parents as an umbrella, they can get wet, chill, and die. 
Fortunately, just as the birds are now leaving the nest, we have a nice settled patch of hot dry weather, and hopefully a lot of the chicks will have developed their thicker, more water-repellent feathers by the time the rain returns. Here are a few little-uns that were enjoying the sun today:

Cetti's Warbler


Great Crested Grebe, hitching a ride on mums back!
Other sightings from a brief visit to Ham Wall RSPB this afternoon:

2 Garganey
3 Marsh Harrier
2 Cuckoo
1 Great White Egret
3 Hobby
2 Bittern

One of the Bitterns

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