Saturday, 30 July 2016

Charmouth - Sat 30th Jul

I flushed 3 Common Sandpiper on the river this morning. One returned briefly to the far bank. It was pretty well camouflaged amongst the rocks and stones - It's not a great pic I know, but can you spot the Sandpiper:

Here's a slightly better shot although the light was so poor that the photo's a bit grainy:

For the last few days, shoals of whitebait have been coming very close to the beach and I've seen them jumping out of the water to try to escape fish predators. I saw 10 juvenile Black-headed Gulls dip-diving into to catch the whitebait. Seeing all this disturbance, the mainly Herring Gulls join in to the same area and are feeding on the whitebait and occasionally a gull is lucky to catch a mackerel just under the surface. Unless it can swallow it immediately others join in and it becomes a tug-of-war battle. Last night, a Great Black Backed Gull arrived and moved in on the fight.  There was only going to be one winner! The whole area becomes a noisy feeding frenzy. Meanwhile, along the quieter West Beach a Grey Heron tries a different approach. Rooted at the water's edge it waits patiently, judging the moment to make its lightning quick ambush.

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