Thursday, 1 April 2010

Wagtails: White and Black and White

A much better day today, although I was feeling a bit rough with a cold, so I was glad of the sunshine. The ringers were in this morning, birds were rather few but they did catch a Treecreeper (below) and three Long-tailed Tit. The last may well be a pair and a helper as they are one of the species that often have them. Although most of the research on nest helpers was done in exotic tropical locations, often by people from this country, they could have done the work in their own gardens or the institute car park. Of course given the choice I would also have taken the tropical route, but it shows that our own birds are every bit as interesting as any others and I have not even got onto the private life of the Dunnock.
Some work did get done today, but mostly this was thanks to the volunteers, hides were spring cleaned and various odd jobs dealt with. Next week we might tackle the tern rafts, weather permitting.

From the Tern hide there were once again hundreds of hirundines over Ibsley Water and on the banks a female Wheatear and some Pied Wagtail, including at least one male White Wagtail. The White Wagtails we get are probably en route for Iceland and many of the Pieds for N. England and Scotland.
White Wagtails have grey backs and more discrete black bibs, the grey is paler than a female Pied Wagtail, they also have grey rumps, although this is hard to see as the wings usually cover it .

The sunshine did bring out some Peacock butterflies and at least 2 Adders on the path to the Lapwing hide.

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