Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Dangers of Over Protective Parenting

At the Tern hide when I opened up an Egyptian Goose being dive bombed by the pair of Lapwing outside the hide was unexpected, they successfully drove it off. Perhaps because they take such a robust approach to parenting they still have all three of their chicks, although this may not be an entirely good thing as I will explain later.

I opened up the Ivy South hide in steady rain, despite this the Grass Snake was on the log in front again, not very lively though, but it did give the chance for a picture.
The cloud cover overnight meant the temperature did not drop much and as a result there were a good few moths in the trap including several Hawk-moths, including the first Privet Hawk of the year. This has a good claim to being the largest resident British Moth, there are one or two larger ones that arrive as migrants but they do not survive here year round even if they do sometimes breed here.
There were also a couple of Eyed Hawks, one fell off when I was checking the egg boxes, as a result it went into threat display, showing the eyes that supply the name.
I also a caught one species that was entirely new to me, a distinctive tiny moth called Telechrysis tripuncta, a woodland species and seemingly quite scarce, or overlooked.
At the end of the day when I went to the Tern hide the Lapwing chicks were right outside the windows, unfortunately this had resulted in the adults deciding the sitting Little Ringed Plover was an unacceptable risk to the chicks and they had driven it off the eggs, which had not been incubated for about half an hour. The female was sitting again when I got there and as it had not been raining and was quite warm I think there is a good chance the eggs will have survived, however it shows that it is not just predators that can cause nest failure.

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