Thursday, 17 June 2010

Coot, Mere Sands, Lancashire

June 17, 2010:
Today at Mere Sands, there was an idyllic sight where Coot chicks played on water-lily pads on a secluded pool, the attendant parent largely leaving them on their own.

The lily leaves were scarcely depressed as the the chicks climbed on and off. Seen close up, their black feet seemed surprisingly large and a sparsely feathered front pate was already developing.

A second visit almost eight weeks later found one chick to be almost fully grown although possibly a little bored.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Peregrines in northern England

June 10, 2010:
There has been much depressing news this year of Peregrine nests having been raided by humans and the chicks taken. Several such have been reported, especially in the north-west.

[Feathers ruffled in the strong wind]

Thankfully, however, not all have met this fate. Here the young birds were developing nicely and the parents actively hunting. On two separate occasions within the hour, the parents were seen two take a Jackdaw, their bloodied breast feathers a sure sign of success. At one point both birds were dismembering prey together on the same ledge - and consuming most of it themselves although some bits were later fed to the young. At other times they would remain on watch and one was always present if the other hunted away from the immediate area.

Meanwhile the downy white well-grown chicks were well camouflaged amongst the flowers on the cliff.

[Another chick, well concealed, is just to the right of the parent]