Thursday 9 June 2022

15 minutes nature walk

 The wind started from west then swung round through south ending SE. Some sunny spells early on, then overcast with light showers.

I went to check the north side Rock Pipits (MD)
None found at the Near Naze or the cafe end of Half Moon Bay.
There were two adult and at least two young birds just north of the rocky outcrop at the north end of Half Moon Bay.
One of the young Rock Pipit

There was another adult below the high cliffs, unfortunately a hiker passed and flushed it and two other birds away, although I couldn't be certain the other two were Rock Pipits as there were lots of House Sparrows around too.

It's no wonder there were lots of House Sparrows , watch how quickly this female gathers food.

Also around:
Little Egret 3
Curlew 2
Linnet (no sign of any young birds)
Painted Lady 1

Tim also checked the Head in the afternoon, he also located 5 Rock Pipits, plus Linnets and Common Whitethroat above the foreshore.

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
This is what today's title refers to. I just spent 15 minutes this morning checking out the main pond (hoping Tuesday's east wind did bring something interesting in). The sun had gone in by this time but it was still quite warm at 16C, even so the only dragonfly seen was a female Broad-bodied Chaser, plus a few damselflies. 
Mute Swan 2 adult, but now only 7 cygnets - so that's two they've lost. Still the ones that remain seemed lively enough. Here they have a spontaneous group bath (dad doesn't look overly impressed!). You might just be able to make out a Chiffchaff in the background.

Coot 4 adult - no young seen today
Moorhen 1 adult with 1 chick
Mallard 2 male 2 female one with 1 quite large chick the other with 6 small chicks
Little grebe 2 adult 1 chick.
This adult caught a relatively large fish in the middle of the pond and then headed off to the reeds in the SE corner. I though it was taking it to a chick, but it ended up eating it itself.

This is the young bird with the second adult. A Willow Warbler singing nicely in the background.

Apart from the Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler there were Blackcap and Sedge warblers singing and the "no swimming" pond Cetti's Warbler could be heard.
Swift 1 feeding over the pond
No sign of any Otter activity yet.
Plenty of Orchids out now.
An interesting quarter of an hour. If you haven't much time you could do worse than visiting here.

In the afternoon the wind switched to the east, it was cooler now and occasional light drizzle. I wouldn't expect any insects to be coming in off the sea in these conditions. Still, no point in having a theory if you don't test it, so I had a look down the south sea wall (MD)
Rock Pipits 5 (2 on Ocean Edge foreshore, the one seen in detail an adult, 1 adult on Red Nab and just 1 adult near the lighthouse (suspect the others were on the north side of the harbour)
Linnet 5 between lighthouse and waterfall 
Curlew 3 (2 + 1 flew past roudhead towards Red Nab)
Shelduck 9 south
Shelduck heading out

The only insect seen was a single Silver Y moth

The Herring Gull nesting on one of the harbour platforms has one chick, but she has more eggs to hatch. After a brief break, she went back to the nest.

The youngster quickly rejoined mum.