Sunday, 18 June 2017

Tern Up For The Books

With the sun a-blazing it was always going to be about insects today. Having hardly spent any time birding around Aldcliffe lately, I was keen to see if there was much about - and particularly interested to see what dragonflies had emerged.
On the odanata front it was great to see my first emperor dragonflies of the year; four of these monsters were cruising around at Darter Pool. Also here was a lone four-spotted chaser and a few broad-bodied chasers along with multiple common blue damselflies.
Butterflies were seriously lacking and just a handful of speckled woods, and the odd red admiral, peacock and skipper were seen between Aldcliffe and Glasson.

Birds-wise, Aldcliffe highlights included a newly hatched brood of lapwing chicks at the Wildfowlers' Pools. Otherwise the patch was pretty quiet. Talking of lapwings, the post-breeding (perhaps that should be failed-breeding) flocks are starting to build up with large numbers congregating in the maize fields (the scene of the crime...) and the estuary. Similarly, adult curlews have started arriving back on the Lune in recent days.
Although birds have been present on the patch throughout the breeding season I haven't yet had confirmation of successful nesting by little ringed plover.
Wader numbers will continue to build in the coming weeks and we'll start to see the movement of such species as green sandpiper and the like.

Keen eyed visitors to Freeman's Pools will have noticed the appearance of a 'strange' floating platform a couple of weeks back. Well, if you've been wondering what on earth this odd contraption might be - let me put you out of your misery. It is a tern raft.  Probably way too late to attract breeding birds this year, it may might just appeal to passing common terns, or oystercatchers or even little ringed plovers in years to come.
Terns do take readily to artificial nest sites, as evidenced at nearby Conder Pools and notably at Preston Docks.

In other news, some numb-nuts has presumably decided to get around the law by removing a sign along the cycle track. The notice, which clearly states that it is illegal for unauthorised vehicles to drive along the track has mysteriously disappeared.
Odd that.
Especially when the number of vans, cars and lorries 'accidentally' driving along the track between Aldcliffe Hall Lane and the quay has clearly increased in recent months. Anything to do with the number of new dwellings along New Quay Road, I wonder?    
    

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