Meet the Kids

The pair of oystercatcher that have nested close to the Tern hide had their chicks on the shore right below the hide today allowing me to get a few pictures of them.

oystercatcher and chick

oystercatcher and chick

Adult oystercatchers are unusual amongst waders in that they collect food and feed their chicks, in the way that species like blackbirds do. The chicks are still active and run about like other waders, but they don’t find much of their own food. In the second shot you can see the other chick sitting in the background.

oystercatcher and chicks

oystercatcher and chicks

Our oystercatchers are very successful breeders, rearing chicks in every year since 2006 at least, in contrast birds nesting on the coast, where most of them choose to nest, usually fail to rear young.

When I had lunch I snapped a couple of insects on the vegetation at the back of the Education Centre, the first was one of the smallest of all our moths.

Micropterix aruncella

Micropterix aruncella

Unlike other moths, which either drink or don’t feed at all, these have chewing mouth-parts and eat pollen. They also have slightly odd caterpillars which actually have small antennae.

The other insect was a robberfly, these are active predators of other insects and this one had captured a fly.

robberfly with prey

robberfly with prey

There was little to report from the reserve today, dragonflies and damselflies were much in evidence and good numbers of meadow brown and marbled white butterflies were on the wing. As I locked up the Ivy South hide three grass snakes were basking outside the hide and it was pleasing to see that the common tern chicks on the rafts are growing well with many pairs still with three chicks.

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