Over the next three to four weeks, I'm going to be more curtailed and have a more rigorous timetable to adhere to - but more of that another day. So today I decided I wanted to use the full day to travel further afield than "just local". I'd been wanting to see the Common Terns at the WWT Arundel so off I headed. Needless to say, I was hoping to get some decent pictures as well. :D
As I left the visitors centre on arrival, a family of Pheasants greeted me.
As I walked on a bee was gathering nectar from a plant..
Around another corner, and this female Chaffinch
was kept company by a male..
both were observed by a Great Tit
The sun was getting very warm as this Mallard family had a doze
After a sandwich, a cuppa coffee and a rather tasty piece of coffee cake... (well, I'm sure I walked the calories off in the afternoon heat) I came across this Shelduck have a wash and brush up
then deciding enough was enough so balanced on one leg for a bit of a change..
A Banded Demoiselle sat in the heat..
whilst another family of Mallards - very young ones this time - could not keep their eyes open..
Whilst back by the visitor centre and watching some other birds, this female Tufted Duck and her brood approached below me..
and the little ones came "ashore"
But the bird that I'd come to see was very much in evidence. The Tern raft was immediately in front of the visitor centre but only visible through double glazed glass windows!!
I gather there are 3 young ones but I only saw two in the time I was watching.
Moving away from the visitor centre, I walked along the path and found the terns fishing!!
Back "at the ranch" one of the little ones was coming out to play, whilst its sibling stayed under cover in the "tunnel"
A little while later and much further out in the pond, one of the adult terns chose to land on a post next to a Black-headed Gull
They both registered their displeasure at seeing the other one in "their" space, but finally settled down in mutual tolerance!
I'd also enjoyed one of the boat rides around the reed beds in one of the electric boats. Voles were visible but mostly well hidden amongst the very noisy reeds - it was rather windy!
Dragonflies flitted about tantalisingly near but the boat's movement wasn't conducive for pictures of them!
As we disembarked, high above on top of the tree line at the top of the hill, two Common Buzzards performed their aerial acrobatic display.
OK time to move on and as there was a bit of time to spare I popped in to the Warnham Nature Reserve. Walking through to the first hide, I saw a Tree Creeper. Other than that it was very quiet. There are two tern rafts and both have a pair of terns - but no young in evidence.
They are very far out (as I've mentioned in a previous post) but I managed a shot of one on its usual perch!
A good day out in the sunshine!
Mr and Mrs Stonechat
2 hours ago