An Emperor and a Mullet Hawk

Lots of woodland birds about but mostly hidden in the dense foliage whilst they go about their breeding business.

Out on the water, the tern rafts are well occupied. I’m told, by those with sharper eyes than mine, that there are 15 pairs of common tern.  With luck this should ensure a reasonable breeding season, although many are sharing their rafts with black-headed gulls – not a recipe for raising small tern chicks successfully.

Tern raft with compliment of common terns and black-headed gulls

Tern raft with compliment of common terns and black-headed gulls

One of the perpetual mysteries, following  successful  common tern breeding in previous years, is the apparent lack of returning youngsters.  Admittedly its very difficult to be sure of the provenance of any of the terns which breed here. Given their location on the rafts, ringing the chicks would be quite  difficult and because of the mixed age of chicks from  different pairs, the optimum time for ringing some could well disturb others and cause them to abandon the rafts, with disastrous consequences.

A few fortunate visitors were lucky enough to see an osprey passing through, although I gather it was quite distant. A old local name for these birds is mullet hawk, presumably from their habit of catching such fish around the coast and within estuaries.

At least four different damselfly species are  on the wing, common blue, azure, blue tailed  and large red.   The warmer conditions are encouraging the emergence of other insects. Yesterday  a couple of visitors spotted  this emperor dragonfly hanging up in some nettles. The strong green colouring caused some confusion at first sight and downy emerald was suggested, but on closer inspection I’m fairly sure its a freshly emerged emperor dragonfly.

Freshly emerged emperor dragonfly

Freshly emerged emperor dragonfly





2 thoughts on “An Emperor and a Mullet Hawk

  1. Thanks for the info on the emporer. As one of the two that misidentified it. Looking closer at it and I agree. As I mentioned am no expert on them. Even more pleased to of seen it now.

  2. Pingback: Emperor and Damsels |

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