Wednesday, 30 June 2021

The bigger boys (and girls) move in

Steady west light wind all day. Occasional cloud but mainly sunny.

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Wildfowl - as yesterday, except two additional adult mute were on the main pond

Warblers - no Cetti's heard today, but there were singing: Garden (just 1), Willow, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Reed, Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat (just 1).

Butterflies - Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, Small Heath, Small White, Large and Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue.
Meadow Brown

Small Skipper drinking nectar

Dragonflies - Emperor, Brown Hawker, Four-Spotted Chaser, Broad-Bodied Chaser, Black-Tailed Skimmer (now the dominant species on the main pond), Common Darter.
Male Broad-Bodied Chaser - this is one of Kevin's pictures from the other day,
I've added it today for comparison to Black-Tailed Skimmer below

Male Black-Tailed Skimmer, at least 7 on the main pond today, plus two females ovipositoring 
but there are also Broad-Bodied Chasers vying for territory with them.

South sea wall
Mute Swan 2 adult on the sea out from Red Nab, possibly the two birds that were on Middleton earlier.
Mute on the sea out from Red Nab

Lighthouse Rock Pipits - only two seen, the male displaying and the female carrying food. She didn't go to the nesting hole while I was there, but appeared to be calling for a young one (not another spider Mum!). She reminded me of a barrow boy selling vedge on a street market.

The Mullet were feeding again, but today they were generally larger and most feeding just below the surface. Even so they are not very big, the biggest here is about 35cm so likely to be similar  numbers of male and female. Female fish tend to grow to be the largest specimens, as there is a big evolutionary advantage of producing huge numbers of eggs, but even a small mature male can produce more than enough milt to fertilise them all.