Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Birds and Bees

Perhaps following a timeline bees and birds might be more appropriate. It started with an early dog walk around Branton Ponds, as we strode around the east pond we noticed what at first looked like a mouse nest on the path, but it's contents were more interesting, not a family of baby mice but a nest of bumble bees complete with a few grub and a couple of dead adults. The next clue was a site of intense digging a few yards along the path, obviously the original resting place of the nest, a sure sign of foraging badgers which had dug the bees out and feasted.
At the other end of the day yet another dog walk, this time we were at the west end of the west pond when a small group of Redshank flew in, it was obvious straight away that one of them was very dark and on zooming in on the bird with our bins we found we were looking at a lovely breeding plumaged Spotted Redshank, taller than the Common Redshanks, longer legged with from a distance what looked like a pure black plumage but was subtle shades of black and brown, it also had a much longer, thinner bill and when chased off by a Moorhen the white rump really contrasted with the dark plumage. The question is was it a failed breeder heading back or is it on it's way further north to find a mate?.    

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