A photography blog by Blair Jones a Gwent based birder, photographer , drone pilot, bird talk presenter and blogger. Passionate about Gwent Wildlife and Goldcliff Lagoons NWR. Gwent Ornithological Society Secretary/Committee Member and BTO Volunteer.
"Bandit at 12 Clock" that is probably what was going through the thoughts of the birds on Monks Lagoon yesterday evening. Attacking out of the sun just like a World War 2 fighter plane stooped "Zoom" the Peregrine. From the size of it we think its a female.
She shot like a bullet towards a flock of ducks,Avocets and Dunlins. It all went crazy for a moment. Lapwings went into mob mode and bravely tried to deter her. It appeared to work and the falcon flew right above the heads of Nev and me who were standing on the Redshank Platform.
Dunlin and also some Ringed Plover.
After circling above us she gained height and headed away towards the sea wall. It was great to watch but a shame in some respects as biggest flock of Dunlins I have seen this year over 130 birds evacuated the lagoons.
"Zoom" the Peregrine
That is how it goes I suppose. Nature gives in one way and takes away in another.
There was plenty of birds despite the loss of the Dunlins. On Becs (Lagoon 2) was a big flock Curlews 60+ birds and 11 Whimbrel accompanying them. The flock was skittish and at one point the whole lot took to the skies before gradually returning in drips and drabs.
Curlews and Whimbrels
The Spoonbill was on Becs Lagoon. It was showing well at a distance from the Seawall Hide.
Its a great bird to watch feeding as it sweeps its huge bill back and forth in an effort to catch small fish and invertebrates.
The island on Becs had quite a few waders on it that appear to be brooding. Hopefully this year they will have a better season than last year. The chicks were heavily predated. If you happen to witness any predation of waders and their chicks please report it. There will be a form on the GOS website that can be submitted so that some analysis can be done to work out what is responsible for taking the birds.
Talking of predators. A female Marsh Harrier came rolling in across the Pill and caused havoc. The Curlews, Whimbrels , Spoonbill and just about everything feathered took to the skys . Some birds panicked others like the shelducks,avocets and lapwings tried mobbing the big raptor.
Marsh Harrier female with an escort of Shelduck on the defensive
Spoonbill takes flight with Avocets and Shoveler Ducks.
Curlews and Whimbrels
Whatever they did was successful and resulted in the Harrier slowly making its way out of the reserve.
It was a busy evening with lots of birds on show. Now I am looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend.
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