Thursday, 7 May 2015
Smashing Plovers and Stonking Gulls
The Birdrace was a tiring but great treat. Some good birding with good folk, highlights abound but there is little time to really drink in any of the exquisite birding scenes. However in the Ely10 we had some memorable moments. A Crane that glided in and around one of our reedbed reserves lit brightly through cloud breaks to the south against a charcoal, brooding rainstorm sky was a vivid image to savour. There were plenty of dramatic skyscapes during a very changeable day.
A late and exceptionally smart Caspian Gull near Pymoor was a true surprise and one of the best I've seen in the Ely10 (or anywhere else for that matter) Simon's pictures through the phone give an impression and certainly leave no doubt to the identity of this lovely Larid. A Mediterranean Gull on territory just outside the Ely10 was equally smart.
Isleham Water Meadows delivered a russet Black-tailed Godwit, a Dunlin with an ink dipped belly and a plum dappled male Ruff, along with the resident Avocets. At the settling beds our only Little Ringed Plover of the day showed very well and the next day I had to return to watch it some more. A couple of Common Sandpiper and a Little Egret have also taken up a residence on the small pool with some nice looking muddy edges, so nice that a spanking Dunlin dropped in for an hour or so on Wednesday evening, we can only hope and dream of a Stint doing the same in the weeks to come.
Today I went to check the pool and the LRP started the cocked head, eyes to the sky flicker that suggests danger in the air. I looked to the Black-headed Gulls who were giving subtler but similar signals. Not one to ignore natures hints I popped my head out of the car to check the sky above and indeed a big old Peregrine was cruising over and took a leisurely foray into sweeping spirals above the dark fenland fields as it gained height.
Perhaps it's time to give the Cathedral another check............