Sunday early and off for my usual visit to Howdon Wetlands before the Sunday Walk around Big Waters. It was quite muddy on the approach after a couple of nights of rain and looked very quiet as I approached but there was certainly plenty around with quite a lot of Swallows and when I got to the hide they were having a break on the posts and perches just outside the hide itself along with the odd Sand Martin.
Next surprise was a Greylag which was on the water but didn't stay too long
as the resident Mute Swan soon moved it onto the banking but seemed happy
to let it wander around but kept close
Then I noticed a little movement quite a way along the banking and blow me down if
it wasn't a Wheatear which fed for about 5 mins then stood still just moving occasionally
a couple of inches then standing still again. It did a couple of quick flits of a couple of metres although it was still there when I left not having moved out of a 2m square in about 90mins.
The first youngsters were spotted on the small deep pond with at least 3 young Moorhens
As usual the Shelducks were the most active and noisiest birds on the Wetlands
with continual bickering and fighting.
Onto Big Waters for probably one of the quietest walks in quite a while,
hopefully the lull before the
A couple of female Roe Deer which were closely followed by a Buck#
were a nice sight as they scampered across the fields
Now for the inevitable Videos, firstly a rather badly filmed one of a Common Tern
trying to eat the biggest fish I have ever seen one catch. It was very distant so had
to zoom up to 300x digital but it eventually finished it off (missed that bit though as a
BHGull chased it off the frame) but watched it through the Bins in the end
Towards the end of the Howdon Wetlands video note the Swallows being
attacked by House Martins as they tried to share the same perches although
they eventually came to a compromise and settled for a pair at each end