Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Cricket Teals- what?

With fresh water getting scarce this summer, with the lack of ditches and muddy puddles, the Restharrow Scrape may become a focus for bathing and drinking birds while it lasts.

At the back of the scrape today it was good to see the family of Oystercatchers, with three fluffy chicks. The adults were very protective, frequently attacking any crow or gull that got too close to their offspring.

I noticed quite a lot of Stock Doves feeding out on the fields as I drove along the Ancient Highway and several came in to drink at the edge of the scrape.

A meadow Pipit cam in for a bathe on the edge of the nearest island. I was too small to attract the attention of the resident Coot. that seemed to take exception to anything encroaching into it's space and chase them away.

Once fully wet it came over to the grass in front of the hide to preen and dry out.

The stars of the show were three Garganeys, one female, one male in eclipse and one male in almost full plumage. an old name for the Garganey is Cricket Teal, named after the peculiar croaking call.

Once the two duller Garganeys got into the Coot's space it they were forced to retreat by the aggressive Coot.

A little later the more colourful male arrived, having worked it's way up from the far end of the scrape. Although not quite as smart as the one that paraded in front of the hide on 17th April 2008 it still was showed some of its characteristic scapulars.

The House Martins, from the estate, were popping in for their building materials. I don't know how many have arrived yet, many of the long distant migrants from Africa seem to have arrived somewhat late this year and so far in low numbers.

The three Garganeys finally got together in front of the hide.

Male Garganey

female Garganey.

I did manage to find one decent moth in my MV trap this morning, a White Spot, a Red Data species that breeds in just a few places along the south coast. Pictures and details on my Moth Blog.

1 comment:

Wellsy said...

Hi Tony - maybe you already know that the German for Garganey continues the theme, they are known as Krickente!