Sunday, 4 July 2010

Independence Day delights

Jen and I had a stroll around Hemer Park today, as we regularly do.
On the way, we came across a clan of merlin, 5 birds in total - not too sure whether it was 4 young and one adult, or a pair with 3 nippers. One thing for sure though, they were jolly noisy little blighters.
At the park, it was pretty quiet, as expected. Particularly so, when a peregrine passed through and sent the smaller falcons into something of a frenzy.
There were loads of smart looking dragonflies around, I'll be trying to ID them later...
The forest was alive with the sound of Pacific-slope flycatchers, plus the occasional western tanager and what-have-you.
The two broods of wood duck now number 4 and 7, and they're growing well. An osprey was roosting up by the pool.

Later, headed down to Holden Creek for a check on the waders. Least sandpiper numbers were down a bit with 49 birds present. Only 3 western sandpipers were still there, but the semi-palmated sandpiper population had doubled to a mighty 4 birds!
Once again, I couldn't resist taking a snap. It's brilliant fun, having this opportunity to really scrutinize these shorebirds, in various stages of moult and wear. Having made such a mess of the initial aging of these sandpipers I'm now looking at every feather. Great stuff! After years of dunlin, red knot, curlews, green sandpipers etc it's really fabulous to be looking at a whole 'new' set of waders, through fresh eyes.  I can't wait to really mis-identify something major, very soon!
The only other thing of note, was pair of house wrens scolding me near the interpretation board.

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