Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Young Ones - Cliff Richard

There had been a promise of overnight rain, which came to naught, but the sky was overcast as I headed for Radipole at 06-00. On the way there were c2 Goldcrest singing in the Melcombe Regis Cemetery, with only a few dozen Swifts of note at the reserve. On the walk to Lodmoor, I noted the House Martins were still feeding young beneath the eves of the flat-lets with the now usual chorus of screeching Common Terns as I entered the Moor.

Not sure about this, could it be Self Heal?

Shelduck and brood.

Common Tern colony, almost covered in young birds.

On both islands there were young Terns everywhere, indicating excellent breeding so far this year, but there is a conundrum I just cannot figure. It's not unusual to see small numbers of these Terns flying off the reserve, gaining high altitude and heading to the west. Similarly, they are seen passing over Radipole and my house presumably to the Fleet as returning birds can be seen carrying 'fish'. The question is, why would they prefer to travel 3+ miles to achieve what their fellow colonists do just 400 feet away from the nests?

The hedgerows are now smelling sweet with Honeysuckle.

2 of the 3 Oystercatcher juveniles, almost full grown and feeding well.

Young Bearded Tit, one of c12 birds seen today.

How predictable, more (totally unnecessary) strimming at Lodmoor. Despite the finding of probably one of the rarest varieties of Orchid in Great Britain and the paths being 4 feet wide, they still have a compulsion to cut 2 feet into the reed-beds - Nature Lovers my arm!

Juvenile Black-headed Gull

My first returning Mediterranean Gull (foreground) of the Summer, with adult and juvenile Black-headed Gulls.

Many of the young Mallard are gaining weight.

Most of the Wildfowl on the Moor are looking scruffy as they moult their feathers. This female Tufted Duck doesn't look too bad!

Branched Bur-reed,

just like the one they used to have at Radipole Lake.

Blooming plant were covered in insects and the odd arachnid.

The Spider and the Fly, it's behind you.

News came through at mid-day of a Gull-billed Tern, a real rarity for Dorset, at Abbotsbury but I was 'wrong footed' and couldn't get out there. However, unless something dramatic happens before dark, I'll be on the 05-15 bus tomorrow.

Gull-billed Tern, unfortunately not the Dorset bird. This photograph was taken near Darwin, Australia in 2008.

and finally.

As I arrived home, mid-afternoon, laden with shopping a huge Raptor passed overhead and purposefully to the south. It was an Accipiter about the size of the pursuing Herring Gulls and while I did get my binoculars to bear I could see nothing, except its size, that might confirm a Goshawk.

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