Saturday, 27 May 2017

Action on the Avon

It’s been the hottest week of the year so far with temperatures hitting as high as 25° C. The warmer weather has caused plenty of invertebrates to emerge. Yesterday I was pleased to see thousands of common blue damselflies.
It’s still early in the year for dragonflies but I did spot this young female black tailed skimmer.
I really like the fine detail you can see on it’s wings in this photo. This species are common across Europe and Asia but were first recorded in the UK in 1934.
I’ve also seen a few other common insects like a red soldier beetle and a harlequin ladybird.
Today I walked along part of the River Avon and found a particularly rich section for wildlife on one stretch. I was first alerted to it by seeing this black-headed gull perched on the bridge.
This gull was diving into the river, obviously looking for food. What was particularly interesting to see was that large fish in the river were not happy with this behaviour and were actively trying to attack the gull when it was in the water. Fortunately the light allowed me to get some really clear photos of the fish, which are chub.
I don’t know much about fish and finding information about them is hard as most of the information is from an angling perspective. It seems likely that these chub were sat here feeding on small creatures floating their way. The gull was likely looking for the same prey but the chub probably saw it as a threat.
On the same stretch a little egret was hunting, presumably looking for the same prey too.
There were also some mallards pulling at vegetation and there was something of a confrontation when the egret got too close to one of them.
On a different stretch of the Avon this moorhen was feeding.
Moorhens tend to be quite flighty so seeing one feed is not always easy, especially in a place which can often be quite busy. They are omnivores, eating everything from snails to insects, small fish and berries.
A few more birds to finish I think. Here’s a photo of a greylag goose. There’s not much to say about it other than it looks magnificent here.
Finally, here’s a jay feeding at Blashford Lakes Woodland Hide. They are truly beautiful birds.
That’s all for today, I’m off to enjoy this glorious weather some more!

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