Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Come on home to your adobe and slap some mud on the wall!

A trip to the industrial estate in Sandwich gave me the opportunity to call into the Obs and then the Restharrow Scrape. I missed John with the moths, so I didn't manage to catch up with their current news but I was pleased to see the tea drinking was in full swing.

On the way to the Scrape I watched this Kestrel using a wire instead of hovering. It wasn't the only falcon I saw, but the only one I photographed, the Hobby that circled the scrape was just to quick for me.

If it's rare birds that you want, then the scrape wasn't the place for you today. I enjoy watching the activities of the common birds and the main show today was from the recently arrived House Martins. Now that they are here they need to catch up, and either repair last years nest or construct a new one. Having found patch of the best building quality mud they were down in force collecting beak-fulls for the job in hand.

Once loaded up they're off back to the nest site. When I was working in Dartford there was a colony near to where I worked. Some of the mud was collected from the river Darent when the tide was down and some from another site when the tide was in. The two muds were different colours and hence the nests were striped!
The Oystercatchers have again produced young from the nest on the island in front of the hide. For a while when I was watching one of the parents was in charge of both of them while the other took a rest on the opposite side of the island.
 At one time he (or it may be she, I can't tell the difference between the parents) took the youngsters two the waters edge and apparently this was a trespass on the Lapwings territory. They didn't take a lot of notice and wandered slowly off.

One of the drifted away rather too much and in no time the piping admonishment came from the parent bird.
The chick seemed a little delusional and tried to fly back to daddy (or mummy). I was quite surprised, with a bit of a jump it actual got off the ground for a couple of inches. The wing pattern is already showing signs of developing!

It appeared that the adults now decided to split the baby sitting duties and one remained near the waters edge with the less adventurous chick,

While the other one was marched to the top of the island where it was out of mischief. and kept in close touch with the parent bird.
There had been a lull in the number of House Martins around, but suddenly the air was full of them and again they came down in exactly the same place to collect their adobe.

Well as I said no rarities but still a fascinating glimpse into the world that has fascinated me for more years than I would like to admit to.
P.s no prizes, but did you get the musical (in it's loosest meaning) reference in the title?

1 comment:

Aviaries said...

They really look cute. A family indeed. Thanks!