Sunday, 16 June 2013

Terns and Gulls

A walk around Summer Leys on Saturday morning was pleasant, if a little on the breezy side.  I was hoping to see the drake Garganey that had been present on the reserve for the previous few days.  Sadly the bird was wearing the 'cloak of invisibility' that many Garganey seem to be able to turn on and off at will and so I drew a blank.  
There was some consolation in a drake Red-crested Pochard near to and sleeping on Eddie's Island.  The bird is starting to go into eclipse but was still immediately obvious with its bright red bill.
There were at least 5 Redshank present as well as a pair of Little Ringed Plovers on Round Island.
The most obvious change from last week was the first of the new Common Tern and Black-headed Gull chicks.  Round Island had at least a dozen Tern chicks huddled together behind any tiny sprig of vegetation they could find to try and stay out of the cold wind.  They soon became more animated when one of their parents returned with a fish fry offering, instantly mobbing the adult for food.  There are about 50 nests on Round Island so hopefully there will be a lot more youngsters before the week is out.
Rotary Island is the preferred choice for the Black-headed Gulls this season.  The rapidly growing vegetation on the island makes it difficult to assess how many pairs are breeding, but there was a group of chicks loitering on the waters edge awaiting food.
The Oystercatchers appear to have hatched young; the adults were continually flying to-and-fro from Round Island with food but I didn't mange to see the chicks.
The Black Swan continues to be present, it has been there for at least a week now.
Large numbers of Swifts were skimming the water for insects with smaller numbers of Sand Martins and House Martins mixed in.


                 Neil H.
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