Monday, May 17, 2010

Between You Me And The Gatepost

Today I wanted to catch up with the jobs that holidays let you forget about, like 100+ emails and dozens of items of post, not to mention two weeks of growth on the lawn.

To hell with it then when my farmer friends at Cockerham gave me a ring to say they had an interesting Oystercatcher nest so I called in and took a look, and there it was in the hollow top of a gate post. Such a nest is not without precedent of course but it is a clever strategy of the birds to nest off the ground and avoid land based predators at the egg stage. The birds, mainly the female in Oystercatchers, have been sitting for about two weeks now so I’ll give it about fourteen more days before looking to ring the young.

Sitting Oystercatcher

Three Egg Stage


Pushed for time I took a quick look around the rest of the farm and noted 3 pairs of Lapwing, 2 still on eggs and the other with small young, another pair of Oystercatchers, and a Buzzard in a nearby wood together with a couple of pairs of Swallows in the farm buildings and a Willow Warbler singing from a small copse.

I bumped into PW at Conder green but apart from a quick chat about spring being virtually over, I had time only to check out the receding water levels that now look so good for the returning waders of July. So for PW and because I know how much he likes them, I'm posting a photo of a Little Ringed Plover from last week at Tirant, Menorca.

Lille Ringed Plover

I usually like to have a look in Thurnham Hall in May, mainly in search of Garden Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Chiffchaff. I wasn’t disappointed today when I saw a single Spotted Flycatcher but at least 3 Garden Warblers, singing and hard “tacking”, plus 2 singing Chiffchaffs with a likely nest locality memorised for a follow up when I have more time.

In Menorca Spotted Flycatchers moved through in very large numbers during 1st to 15 May and I did get more than one photograph. So here is just one of those plus a photograph of an Audouin’s Gull taking a gulp of pool water and yet another Hoopoe, all pictures from the confines of a sunbed – happy days!

Spotted Flycatcher

Audouin’s Gull


Now please excuse me, I really must tackle those emails.


Pete Woodruff said...

What a really enjoyable read Phil not least of all the Oystercatchers nesting on/in the gatepost. Thank goodness you decided to have your own blog, and the LRP....thanks. But the Gold Award goes to the Audouin's Gull it's 'pretty cool' as they say and is an excellent image, it also looks good in the Birds2blog sidebar.

Good to see you again Phil.

Kane Brides said...

Wow - I saw something similar in Germany last week - where an Oyk was sat on eggs on top of a wooden post in a harbour.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Very interesting and lovely set of images. I love your banner shot, wow what does it have in it's bill? Thanks for sharing~

Stu said...

Those Oystercatchers aren't fussy...........

Halie said...

These are beautiful photos of birds. I specially like the Audouin’s Gull. How do take lovely photos of these birds without them flying away? Have a great week ahead!

Unravel said...

Very interesting to see how the oystercatcher lays its eggs!
Seems like it didn't have to put any effort in making a nest...

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