Expert photographer Brian Pettit sent us these photos of some of the wildlife currently out and about on the reserve today, some really great shots, thanks Brian!
First is a male pied wagtail with a beak full of damselflies. A pair of pied wagtails with fledge young have been frequenting the shore in front of Tern hide recently, in this photo the male bird has collected lots of damselflies to feed it’s young. The damselflies are still in the teneral stage meaning they have just emerged from the water and not yet coloured up.
Next is a recently fleged sand martin by the martin wall at Goosander. Young sand martins can be identified by the rusty brown fringing to the back, nape, mantle, tertial and upper wing covert feathers.
Adult little grebe in summer plumage at Goosander hide.
A blackcap, females and juveniles of this small warbler have brown caps, only males have jet black caps. Young males start to moult through the black feather in mid summer. I suspect this bird is a adult female although it is possible the first broods have fledged by now.
A grass snake on the logs in front of Ivy South Hide. This indivdual is very fresh looking and has probably recently shed it’s skin.
A jay on the woodland hide feeders. I was recently talking to a gamekeeper who said he hated jays and that they’re numbers need to be controlled. Yes is it true jays take a few chicks of small birds but the ecological role of the jay in the European countryside is extremely important. In the autumn jays feed heavily on acorns and bury large numbers to store for later in the winter. Of course they never find them all again and the result is the germination of masses of oak trees. It is thought that almost all wild grown oaks are actually planted by jays, the native British oaks trees, sessile oak and pendunculate oak or English oak, support more species of insect than any other British tree. Insects and caterpillars from oak trees feed many species of birds (and other wildlife), therefore Jays are a very important part of the ecosystem, benefiting many species of small birds and massively offsetting any chicks they might take in the spring.
A male great spotted woodpecker on the same feeder. This bird can be identified as male by the small red patch on the back of it’s head, females only black.
To see more of Brian’s photos, both from Britain and all over the world, checkout: http://www.naturepicturesworldwide.com/
Why not have a look with a nice cup of tea?