Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter 2010 - Saturday 10 April

Saturday, the last day of our Spring holiday and one with a pre-set destiny in that we'd already booked a half-day trip to the RSPB's Havergate Island to watch the hares and also to see what else was about. On arrival we were split into two groups, we were in the group that was headed to where the hares habituate, stopping first in a hide overlooking one of the scrapes.

My first sighting was a hare, sunning itself on the bank:

One lady in our group (of twelve including the warden) spotted a pair of summer plumage European Golden Plover, we'd never seen these birds in summer plumage so that was a treat:

From the hide we headed towards the warden accommodation and the hares. We were soon stopped on the path as a group of hares meandered around. I snuck slowly along the edge of the path, focusing on one individual:

He practised some boxing moves:

Had a scratch:

Then seemed to notice our group:

It then ran along the path directly towards us, stopped, then headed into the gorse. Amazing!
The other main inhabitant of the island is gulls. Lots and lots of gulls. Herring Gulls like these:
Lesser Black-backed Gulls:

and a few Common and Black-headed Gulls too. The RSPB is keeping the water levels high until more Terns arrive so the gulls don't take over all the breeding space.
On the path back, having split off from the group, we found our second female Black Redstart of the holiday:

Some Meadow Pipits:

and distant Avocet, Spoonbill, Black-tailed Godwit and Barnacle Geese. We wandered again to see the Black Redstart before the boat returned to collect us:

We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, though it got off to a very quiet start. In the end we added just one new species to our list, Golden Pheasant, though the Twite was also probably a first. I doubt we'll do another week like this, probably preferring a more flexible response to weather conditions and bird locations, over long weekends. We also missed the peach tree blossoming in our garden but made it back in time for the Blackthorn :)

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