Wednesday, 5 July 2017

July 5th Strumpshaw Fen

Little Egret
I was considering looking for the silver-washed fritillaries this morning at Strumpshaw, but the horseflies were after my repellent-sprayed legs again. So, instead, I retreated to the 'safety' of the Fen Hide, where they couldn't get me (at least in theory). It turned out to be a good decision. When I arrived inside the hide, a little egret was busy fishing with it's reflection mirroring it on the surface of the water. The pool was teaming with fish and the egret was making the most of the opportunity, catching plenty. A heron was sitting in a bush nearby, seemingly uninterested in the feast below. After several minutes of hunting alone, the egret was then joined by four other egrets and a fifth appeared some time later. This caused a slight argument here and there, but for the most part they got on feeding at close proximity of each other. A kingfisher even showed up for the feast, perching on the various posts to get a better view of the fish.
Grey Heron
More Little Egrets arrive
Cobber the Black Swan
Reed Warbler

Otter circling some worried Mallards
At Reception Hide, the kingfisher was active here too, making many visits to it's favourite tree. No wonder, the broad in front of the hide was also brimming with fish and plenty of fish hunters looking to fill their bellies. Cormorants and little egrets were having a field day, but surprisingly not the herons which preferred lounging around on the trees. But then, the ultimate fish predator arrived. All of a sudden, lots of ducks started fleeing from the far left channel. Following them out of the channel was an otter! The ducks (which many were now moulting their flight feathers, making them flightless) huddled together around the reedy islands as they watch the otter circle the entire broad. The otter was more interested in the fish, though, and it was continuously diving after them as it made a loop around the broad until it finally disappeared down the far right channel.
Little Egret
Other highlights today include; scarce chasers and other dragonflies, swallowtails which were being attracted to the buddleia bushes, marsh harriers making food passes to their fledged chicks, bearded tits, a bullfinch and a sparrowhawk.

Marsh Harriers making a food pass!
Marsh Harrier
Yellow and Black Longhorn Beetle


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