Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Terns update

The Common Terns nesting on the Ivy Lake rafts have fledged their first young of the year, three chicks form the brood on the southern raft were flying strongly around the south of the lake this morning. Rather less convincingly one of the larger chicks form one of the broods on the northern raft flew off the raft and fell into the water, luckily it was able, just, to get back into the air and onto the raft again. Although the adults are busy feeding the chicks and there are about fifteen pairs with at least 34 chicks, it seems some adults have failed to nest successfully.
This bird was preening on a post outside the Tern hide, it was having real difficulty getting to those hard to reach bits, but with a bit of bending it made it.
A second bird was just sitting around, although it does show the darker outer primaries contrasting with a very fresh inner, this is what produces the characteristic dark "wedge" in the wing that picks them out from Arctic Terns in flight. These shots also show the longer legs and black-tipped red bill, although some of them start to loose the black tip as summer moves to autumn.
Nesting update:
Little Ringed Plovers - At least three of the chicks are still surviving and were being sheltered from the rain by the female this afternoon.
Lapwing - At least one of the chicks at the Tern hide is still feeding on the shore.
Oystercatcher - One chick still alive on the "Cormorant Island" in Ibsley Water, it was hiding int he docks during the rain this afternoon, but is big enough to not get too chilled now.

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