Monday, April 29, 2013

Past few days...

I couldn't really think of a particular theme for this post so I thought I would just put a few pictures up that I took over the past few days. I have just come back from a wander and for the first time this year heard the monotonous babble of a couple of Reed Warblers around the Abbey pool. Coupling this with hearing my first Cuckoo in the woods up by Borough Farm it may be safe to assume that Spring has finally arrived.

 I suppose another sign of Spring is the arrival of the Swallows which have arrived en masse from their winter hangouts in Africa. Due to the fact that they are mind blowingly acrobatic in the air and also eat and drink on the wing makes them a nightmare to photograph. Above is my best effort so far...

Late in the year as it is, the shrubs and trees are finally becoming leafy and the Island is certainly starting to look greener. You can still see Blue tits, Great tits, Goldcrests and the like through the gaps in the foliage.

 These two shots are of birds called Whimbrels. There seems to have been an influx of these around the south west of England as they pass through on their Spring migration from South Africa  en route to the Arctic Tundra to breed. They will have travelled over six thousand miles by the time they arrive. There are currently about sixteen of them stocking up on food down towards Carn Near before they carry on with their mammoth journey.
I stumbled upon this juvenile Shag right on the very southern tip of the Island. I think he spotted me...

We also currently have a Water Rail residing in the hedged area just next to the church. Although not the rarest of birds these weird things are rather shy and not often happy to mill around in the open. They usually like hiding in ditches and reedy areas but this one seems to be quite content. I think they look clumsy for some reason, maybe it's just me though....

This is the closest I have been to a Grey Heron. Being up to a metre in height they are easy to spot from afar but don't like being approached. Usually looking quite regal and overseeing the nearby waters with a calm demeanour they appear all over the Scillies but you can often see them on either of the two pools. I have noticed they often loiter under the pines on the Abbey pool or perched on the island there too. Last year I saw about thirty roosting in the trees between the Abbey and the Great Lake. This picture I took on St Marys though. Oh yes and more ducklings too!

I just like this one.

This final picture I took last year. I have had two incidences with bats in the Estate office. One where I was asked by a slightly flustered member of staff (who should remain nameless, Jackie) to remove a rather confused little guy who was circling her office. The other one pictured, none of us noticed hanging from the ceiling until about half eleven in the morning, after we had been open for about three hour! I assume he had just been quietly dangling there while we typed away and drank coffee! Not being a 'bat expert' I decided to adopt the ' glass and paper' trick and set him free, but not before taking a picture with a pretty bad camera. I believe he is a Pipistrelle bat.

We have hundreds on the island and at dusk almost anywhere on the island you may spot one silently flying past in the corner of your eye.
Looking back at this post I believe the theme of Spring may be the case!

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