Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Western Yar Estuary

I count myself really fortunate to live within walking distance of the dramatic Western Yar Estuary, allowing me the opportunity to regularly pop along and catch up with what's happening.

I was really pleased to come across this pair of Mute Swans nesting just below the Freshwater Causeway bridge. I'll be able to follow the fortunes of the family over the coming weeks and months and share it with you. Here the male seems to be tidying up the outer edge of the nest, removing various bits of reed that had been placed there earlier. I found an interesting comparison fact on the UK Safari website: 'Try to imagine birds nests relative to human habitation.  If say a Dunnock nest was on a par with a one bedroom semi-detached cottage, then the mute swan nest would be comparable to St. Paul's Cathedral!' It won't be long now before the eggs are laid.

The sequence ends with a shot of the female now comfortably ensconced in her new home! The male or cob's leg ring reads N3V and the female or pen's code is B9C - it will be interesting to find out where they hail from.

This male Blackcap was one of two that were moving amongst the Blackthorn blossom in Squirrel Copse - I assume he is enjoying the sweet nectar at the bottom of the flower tubes, though I haven't read of this behaviour anywhere else and I'm willing to be corrected. I've also watched Blue Tits and a number of Willow Warblers apparently engaging in this feeding activity in recent days.

Many migrants are arriving now. I caught up with my first Common Whitethroat of the year soon after this in the midst of some Bramble close to Mill Copse Pool.

This Red Squirrel was also one of two that were active in Squirrel Copse during the short time that I was there. If you watch the footage you'll hear the plaintive call of a bird in the background. Is it a Buzzard? I'm really not sure - any suggestions gratefully accepted!


  1. Some lovely images and it certainly sounds like Buzzard call to me.

  2. Thanks Toffeeapple. It does have that mewing quality of a Buzzard but it doesn't seem as 'harsh' as a Buzzard in flight would sound. It's great to hear the Blackcap in the clip, too - I'm looking forward to capturing some Nightingale song in the next month or so! :-)

  3. Good luck to Mr and Mrs Swan. A pair is nesting on the edge of the boating lake by Dinosaur Isle in Sandown. Kind of wish they'd chosen somewhere a bit more tucked away.