Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Friday 29 July 2022

Reasons to be Outside

Early Summer was great for welcoming back our migrant birds. Areas of the Peak District in particular for me are a great place to go and find them. On a warm June morning you should be able to pick out the calls of Common Redstart, Tree Pipit, Common Sandpiper and Pied Flycatcher. Of course, that does require you to be in the right area, and it's not always guaranteed. They can be there, and just not singing or calling. Or more commonly they're spending their time at the top of the canopy looking for insects. Add in the fact that the leaves are now out to make it even more difficult to spot. It does mean that I spend more time out looking than I would normally, especially if I've not been successful. Not that I'm complaining. Outdoors is when I like to be most.

Male Common Redstart

Tree Pipit

Willow Warbler with food for the young

Friday 15 July 2022

A Tern for the Better

I take a trip out to Anglesey and North Wales at least twice a year if I can. At this time of year it is for the sea birds and the Terns in particular. The coast boasts some very good areas for these nesting birds.

The Little Terns are protected 24 hours a day by wardens. They are are there to deter predators such as foxes, Peregrines and Kestrels, and sadly from human intervention, either from egg collectors, or marauding dogs allowed to run free despite the signs asking them to be on a lead.

Each year this species is increasing in numbers at the site, and it is the largest breeding site in the UK for this bird. That said, numbers are still extremely low, and for that reason the wardens are very important and do a fantastic job. 

Little Tern

Sandwich Terns are in abundance at Cemlyn Bay and are the largest of our Terns. I'm always greeted with their screeches as they fly overhead on their way out to look for sand eels. I use it as an opportunity to practise my flight shots. If I miss one then I know another will be along in just a few seconds. Here are some of my better efforts. As you can see, they fly very close as they go about their business.

Sandwich Terns