Monday, 30 September 2013

One less Curlew

Lade - 0700hrs - mild, sunny, e 3 - Not quite so windy this morning so a bit better for passerines, mostly Chiffchaffs, Robins and a Blackcap in the willow swamp. Overhead a trickle of Mipits, Swallows and Goldfinches, plus 2 Grey Wagtails. On south lake 12 Shelducks, 2 Little Egrets and the reappearance of a Black-necked Grebe.
The high tide had forced the beach waders off the bay with around 300 Curlews flying in to roost on the open shingle ridges on the desert. However, one of them came to grief as a Peregrine struck from on high, bringing instant death to the unfortunate individual as it `exploded` in a shower of feathers.
The adult male Peregrine mantled its prey and tucked in while the remaining Curlews then returned to roost in safety nearby. The falcon got a decent meal before being driven off by 5 Magpies who finished off the corpse.
PS: The only other local news that came my way concerned a Grasshopper Warbler (PB) by the Willow Trail and a Ring Ouzel (SB) at the pines on ARC. Pectoral Sandpiper and Great White Egret were still present on the bird reserve.

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