A photo dairy, 14th - 31st May 2011
North Plain Lonning lined with flowering Cow Parsley
Male Woodpecker heard hammering on nest box hole. A Tree Sparrow, currently occupying this box, was hovering round in the vicinity.
Shelduck feeding on the tideline in the evening
This was a period of cold strong winds with heavy showers and intermittent sunshine.
Yellow Flag starting to flower round pools and damp meadows.
In the afternoon sunshine numerous Large Red Damselflies could be seen round damp patches on the Lonning where they were sheltered from the wind.
Large Red Damselfly - male
A Blue-tailed Damselfly also seen on track.
Hide pool. Tree Sparrows were using nest box. Damselflies could be seen on grassy edges.
Warm sunshine brought the Reserve alive. The Lonning hedgerows were full of bird song: Sedge, Willow and Garden Warblers, Chiffchaff and Chaffinch. Swallows were out hawking. Damselflies and butterflies were flying.
Damp summer meadows now that water levels have fallen - ideal for breeding Lapwing, Curlew, Snipe and Redshank.
Recently arrived cattle used as a management tool to control the grass sward.
Coot and Lapwing in front of hide.
Watched Hare lolloping about amongst the meadow grasses in front of the hide, for about 20 minutes. Clearly enjoying itself!
Little Grebe on Meadow Pool.
Joined by a second one.
Little Grebe had spotted an intruder and swiftly took action.
Pair of Oystercatchers seemingly inspecting 'seed' field.
Swallows were flying everywhere today.
Wall Butterfly on trackside vegetation.
Another cold windy day. Few birds were singing - most things were sheltering as best they could.. Only the Mallard and its ducklings to be seen on the pools and a solitary Lapwing was defending its territory.
Mallard and ducklings on first meadow Pool
Two Mallard ducklings
Lapwing diving over Wetland Meadows.
Cold gale force winds with low skudding clouds today - brought down power lines on the Moss which subsequently set it alight. Also flock after flock of Oystercatchers battled along the tideline into the southwesterly gale, as the high tide flooded them off their inner estuary roosts (see previous blogs for details of both).
A beautiful sunny day brought Butterflies and Dragonflies and flowers out. Young Chaffinches, Tree Sparrows and Greenfinches were in evidence too.
Wall Butterfly on Comfrey.
Four -spotted Chaser flying between the hedges at the far end of the Lonning. The glint of its wings could be detected in the sunlight.
Four-spotted Chaser poised on old bramble stem. Four wing spots can be clearly seen.
Large Red Damselfly on pool side vegetation.
Wild Roses are starting flower
Germander Speedwell in hedge bottoms.
A small clump of Star of Bethlehem near entrance to North Plain Lonning.
Standing room only
Cattle grazing the saltmarsh in the late evening sunlight
Other recent sightings
Skua passage on the Solway was in full flow. With gale force southwesterly winds local Skua watchers from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BirdingCumbria had some of their best sightings ever. Noteably on 23rd May, from 1.30 to 8 pm: 6 Gannets, 1 Gt Northern Diver, dozen Fulmar, c 600 - 700 Kittiwakes, 3 small flocks Arctic Tern, 3 Sandwich Tern, 3 Manx Shearwater, several flocks Razorbill, Common Scoters, several Whimbrel, small flock Bar-tailed godwit, 2 Great Skua, 19 Pomarine Skua, 47 Long-tailed Skua. This was further eclipsed by further sightings on a very rainy 29th May from 8.30 to 3.30pm: 6 Gt Skua, 9 Arctic Skua, 22 Pomarine Skua, c120 Long-tailed Skua, c 30 Gannets, Common Scoter, c 12 Fulmar, Common Tern.