For all the bold, loud confronting of potential threats from cows to Canada Geese, Avocets can sometimes drop the ball when it comes to their brood.
I watched, fearing the worst at Lunt today with Tony Conway and Phil Boardman nearby as the adults wandered off across the lagoon leaving their two youngsters bobbing about exposed on the shallow water off Avocet Island – a prime target for any passing Jackdaw.
They got away with it, but they should really step up their game.
I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the Hairy Dragonfly (first for Lancs and North Merseyside) that has been on site for the last week or two, but although it was blisteringly hot, it was quite breezy too, and apart from a few Four Spot Chasers and “maybes” tazzing off over the vegetation there was no sign of Brachytron pratense while I was there.
Better luck next time.
Brimstone Butterflies on the wing though (a good spring for them this year) with Little Ringed Plovers and chuntering Sedge Warblers.
It was pleasant talking to Tony and Phil (a bit weird as we kept our social distancing up), as conversing with folk who really know and care about a site always is.
Still at Lunt, thanks to Phil Collins for sending me his record shot of a Spotted Flycatcher there on Tuesday evening “going bananas catching midges over Homer Green Pond”.
A fair few of these have been recorded this spring too, but I’ve yet to connect with one.
Back in the office as the dunes bake in the heatwave and thousands of people crowd onto our beaches apparently immune to the C-19 threat, things are sliding towards summer at Ainsdale.
Skylarks may struggle with their broods – as lark guru Ian Wolfenden explained to me this week, the hot, parched conditions can mean less insect food to raise the youngsters on, a shame as they have enjoyed relative peace this year with reduced human disturbance in the dunes until recently.
Keep on letting me know what you’re seeing from your patches and gardens, it’s great to hear your news.