Surprising September – 04/09/2021

What I enjoy most about wildlife watching is the element surprise. You never know what you might see looking out of the window or walking round a nature reserve or even along the street. All you have to do to get lucky is to lookee!

One pleasant surprise on Friday (03/09) was to see a long tailed tit visiting the feeders along with some great tits and bluetits. Perhaps the onset of autumn is reducing the availability of ‘natural’ food so we might see more birds visiting the garden feeders.

A juvenile blackbird also popped in for a rootle around the lawn. His adult feathers are gradually displacing the brown infant plumage starting from the tail. He will soon be all black.

Perhaps another sign that the birdlife is looking for some supplementary feeding is the eagerness of these chaffinches (among others) to come for the sunflower hearts I scattered on a walk down Attenborough.

From the Kingfisher hide at ANR a fellow bird watcher pointed out this large gull catching and eating crayfish. It is a lesser black backed gull. Apart from its size it is distinguished from the great black backed gull by its yellow legs and feet and the grey colour of its upper wings. The great black backed gull, which is the largest member of the gull family, has pink legs and black upper wings.

Also from the Kingfisher hide I was watching this little grebe repeatedly diving for food. It was some distance away and the light was poor so only when reviewing the photos afterwards did I see that it too had caught a crayfish.

This female mallard caught my eye near the visitor centre because of its unusually light colouration. It then started elaborate ablutions. I’ve arranged these shots as a sequence of Hokey Kokey moves ……… You stick your left wing out, your right wing out, your left wing out and you shake it all about ………………………. etc. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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