Saturday, 21 June 2014

One Swallow makes a day

A trip over to Welney with the Wildlife Trust yesterday evening. Lovely light, with the sun beginning to drop away over the washlands. Some over-summering Whooper swans with the Mutes, plenty of Avocet and Lapwing in evidence and a fine male Black-Tailed Godwit. Two birds of particular interest. Firstly, a Little Ringed Plover, my first of the year. Secondly, a male Ruff in breeding plumage. He looked virtually jet-black against the light but there was a suggestion of perhaps some bottle-green too. He seemed to take particular issue with some Redshank and strutted about somewhat imperiously, occasionally fluffing up his throat feathers (not, I think, his ruff). Later to the Reedbed Hide, where a Barn Owl hunted nearby and Hobby dashed past. The highlight, however, was upon returning to the main obs hide to find that a Swallow had become trapped inside. I managed to gently catch it in my fleece as it fluttered against one of the large window panes. An opportunity to see one up close - it was, of course, beautiful and seemed to weigh next-to-nothing. Taking it outside it sat for a while in my hands before uttering a sharp chirrup and flying up to join its brethren.