Monday, 18 May 2015

Cage Bird

There hasn't been a great deal to get excited about the past couple of times I've been for a trawl around the patch, I'm sorry to say.
Regular Aldcliffe nesters seem to be getting on with things as best they can. A few pairs of lapwing appear to have settled again in the maize fields; let's hope they get time to lay again and actually hatch some chicks this time.
Neither of the mute swan nests have produced young yet and I haven't even seen any young coot or moorhen. A couple of pairs of gadwall are still hanging around - perhaps we'll finally add this handsome duck to the list of breeders on the local patch?

On the subject of nests, I was shown this amazing long-tailed tit nest hidden away among a stack of wire fences at Cuerden Valley Park yesterday.
Pretty amazing eh?  In a rare demonstration of a bird illustrating irony, this wild creature seems to have chosen to temporarily confine its offspring to a cage.
Not only is the long-tailed tit's nest one of the most immaculate structures to be built by any European bird but this pair have also found a pretty predator proof location!

...and talking of predators: this morning I had stunning views of a fox vixen chasing down and catching a rabbit at Aldcliffe. The speed and agility of the hunt was really impressive and the prey was dispatched swiftly.
I just hope that this fox doesn't have a liking for lapwing eggs...


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