Saturday, 30 June 2018

The Sand Martin's of Reculver.

A little late this year but the Sand Martin colony has now returned to the sandstone cliffs of Reculver and Bishopstone Glenn. Picking a day when the light was at its best and the breeze from a favourable direction, a few flight shots were gained as they flew out over the sea catching flies as the early morning sun rose.

My annual pursuit of Spotted Fly-catcher's this year has been hindered by the fact that I have not seen that many. Travelling around the normal local Fly-catcher spots, I have only managed one image, hopefully a few more opportunities will arise before they leave for their wintering grounds.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Terns of Rye.

With local sites not producing much in the way of camera targets, an invitation to join Tim Gutsell on a trip to Rye harbour seemed a good idea, the pair of us visiting the reserve on Saturday 9th June. The light was not at its best but it was not raining which was a bonus. A stiff North Easterly breeze made it a little uncomfortable, me instantly regretting not arriving with an extra layer. Walking down the path towards the beach it was not long before we saw evidence of breeding Wheatears, fresh new juveniles accompanied by their rather worn looking parents on top of the many fence posts on the reserve.

The reason most people visit the reserve is the breeding Tern colonies with Common, Sandwich and Little (if your lucky) all present and all taking advantage of the excellent conditions helped along by the reserve management. From the hide overlooking the Ternary pools and in amongst large the numbers of nesting Black-headed Gulls we saw several Mediterranean Gulls, all looking rather dapper in their summer attire.

From the adjacent hide (I cannot remember the names of the hides at Rye) we could see nesting Common Terns, fairly close to the hide windows and a few more chances with the camera.

Most of our time throughout our stay was spent sitting on the beach and waiting to intercept the Terns returning to their nesting sites from fishing out to sea. The shear numbers nesting around the various pools on the reserve means that you do not have long to wait until a bird passes by.

Sandwich Tern.

The star terns (see what I did there) were the Little Terns, probably Rye harbours best success story. This year they seemed to have started nest building outside of the predator fencing, a little unwise perhaps. Given the difficulty these Little Terns have in successfully raising a brood each year, the Rye reserve management team have erected some bunting up around the area and hopefully this will keep out dogs and the like. Keeping a respectful distance, we both were able to catch a few of these rather smart birds as they periodically flew up and down the receding tide line, also watching as they landed in the tidal surf in search of food.

Hopefully time will be made for a return visit before the Terns leave for their winter destinations.