Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A dry retreat

The weather this morning was dull and full of drizzle and mizzle. After a quick, damp look at the cliff top and peering at distant Gannets through the mist in the bay I decided to fall back on the reliably dry Restharrow Scrape hide. Even if there wasn't much about at least I would be sheltered.

As it happened the weather started to improve and while I was checking all the Teal for something more interesting at Curlew arrived. Even though it was at the far end of the scrape a Curlew is big enough to get some pictures! It started with a good splashing bath.

Once it felt satisfied with that it retreated to the island to sort out it's feathers.

I presume that the large amount of time it spent with its beak in this area is because it is collecting oil from the preen gland to treat it's feathers with.

Back to the edge of the water and it spent a lot of time scratching, but soon left to continue it's worm hunt somewhere out on the fields.

One of the great sights of grazing marsh and damp fields is a flock of Lapwings. They are such spectacular fliers and their striking pattern against the now blue sky is impossible to resist with the camera. Unfortunately I don't paint, but many wildlife artists find Lapwing flocks similarly addictive.

Spot the odd one out!

The Curlew returned and this time chose a closer pool to the left of the hide. Another bout of bathing ensued.

It rather looks as if the Jackdaws are taking an interest in the Curlew, but I don't think that this is the case. They are just there to satisfy their own needs, and large flock of all the crows come to drink regularly.

On the other hand the Curlew was extremely nervous with the Jackdaws in such close proximity, and each time one took off or landed it jumped in the air.

It even made a sort of threat display at one flying over it's head. I didn't see any aggressive actions by the Jackdaws that warranted this antagonistic attitude.

It didn't stay very long, the arrival of another group of jackdaws seemed just to much to bear and it was off.

As can be seen it is comparatively short billed, this and the streaked rather thank spotted flanks indicate that this is a juvenile. This might account for it's timid character.

1 comment:

LOuisette said...

Nice pic fotos, greeting from belgium