This week, the first of 2014’s Corncrake chicks arrived (by way of me going to collect them from the zoo). Seven healthy and feisty little fellows. One of them seems quite fearless and determined to escape the aviary and explore the big bad world. By the time he leaves my care I will have ensured he is more of a typical Corncrake. Shy, secretive and well hidden. And therefore less likely to be predated or shot down by hunters.
After replenishing their feed yesterday morning, I popped along to the March Farmers end of the Reserve to snatch a glimpse of a Spoonbill that is hanging out down there with the Cormorants. I did find him. Busy preening his/her glorious feathers. Every now and then looking up long enough for viewers to admire that spectacular spoonbilled yellow and black bill.
Just a few years ago, there were no Little egrets here at the Nene Washes. Now there are over a hundred of them, and breeding.
Recently Spoonbills started breeding in Norfolk. So who knows, maybe they’ll begin to colonise this area too. As the egrets have.
On my way back, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what seemed like a ridiculously small creature swimming across one of the ditches. It was zigzagging from one side of the ditch to t’other. I waited and watched, binoculars at the ready. It was a grass snake. Not such a tiny creature after all. But whilst swimming, it’s whole body is submerged, leaving just it’s wee face above the water’s surface. He was an extremely hansom fellow, with bright yellow markings.
I saw pretty House martins swooping about. Showing off their bright white rumps in the sunshine. And swallows were flying just centimetres above the surface of the river, picking off water insects for lunch. The river was alive with whirly bugs and I wondered if that’s what the Swallows were hunting. One swallow flew right under a very low bridge. Show off.
I saw damselfly, hare, stoat, Oyster catcher, Lapwing, Skylark, Little egret, Grey heron, noisy Starlings, swans with fluffy new cygnets, ducklings, cootlings, Great-crested grebe and Moorhen, two Cranes, Black-tailed godwit, Red kite, Kestrel, Redshank, Snipe, white butterflies, Pied wagtail, and my regular but delightfully funny pair of Red-legged partridge. I could hear Cuckoo, Sedge warbler, and Bittern booming. What a wonderful day.
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