Friday, 22 July 2011

Who Would be a Sand Martin?

Bird News: Two common sandpiper, one adult and a juvenile were by the Tern hide first thing and an oystercatcher was on the long shingle spit, Just east of the hide the little ringed plover pair still have their two chicks. The chicks are like miniature cartoon versions of the adults. From Ivy South hide an adult hobby got the common terns in a lather. However this was nothing to what it did at the Goosander hide where it reportedly took a sand martin (I believe there may be pictures too).
Reports Received: 19 Egyptian geese were seen on Ibsley Water today and there are two more with their three goslings on Rockford Lake, so it looks like their numbers are picking up.
Other Wildlife: The grass snake was just below the window at the left hand end of the Ivy South hide again, it had a distinct bulge half way along so I suspect we are a common frog down. The moth trap contained a chocolate-tip a species I don't see that often. I also had a report of three or four silver-washed fritillary on the path to the Lapwing hide.
Other Stuff: The Lower Test volunteer team were in again and cleared the rest of the bank on the western shore of Ibsley Water. I got out in the boat to take some soundings off the long spit on the western shore with a view to reducing the height and increasing the width to make it more use to wildlife. We should be able to get some more shallows and improve the view.
The Bizarre: A couple of days ago a visitor popped in to say he had seen a mallard eating a sand martin that had fallen into the water at the Goosander hide, in fact it had eaten two. It was not clear if the martin was already dead or had been drowned by the duck. It is not uncommon for young martins to fall into the water when making early flights, especially if startled by a predator. However I have never heard of them being eaten by a duck. Today a sketch of the incident arrived along with a mobile phone picture of the event, sadly not very clear.

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