The recent sunny weather has brought lots of butterflies - an increase in Graylings, first Gatekeepers and Essex as well as Small Skippers.
Essex Skipper on Sea Holly
Sandwich, Common and Little Tern chicks are now on the wing. Juvenile Sandwich Terns have been seen fishing. There are also a number of chicks of all species that have yet to take their first flight, such as the Common Tern chick below:
These chicks are still very vulnerable to predation, so please continue to keep your distance from fenced nesting areas. The dog restrictions (no dogs allowed on the Point except for around the Lifeboat House if on a lead) are still in place until mid-August for this reason.
Little Tern chick hatched yesterday (photographed under licence)
Spot the chick (click to enlarge)
We're happy to see our breeding birds feeding well. Terns are enjoying good fishing close to the colony, with feeding 'frenzies' most days. Black Headed Gulls are feasting on a recent spate of freshly hatching insects (often referred to simply as a 'hatch') giving both adults and juveniles an abundance of food.
'Mini' hatch with gulls gathering to feed
In migrant bird news, Starlings have regularly been present in strong numbers over the past couple of weeks, with over 200 seen today in different groups. We have been enjoying the company of a Black Redstart that appears to have taken a liking to the Lifeboat House and garden area, as it has been around for just under a fortnight with only a couple of days where it was not sighted. Arctic Skuas are now regularly being seen harassing terns for their fish, as they survive by stealing fish from other birds (known as kleptoparasitism). They are amazing birds to watch on the wing, very acrobatic, and apparently were the inspiration behind the British Fleet Air Arm’s first naval dive-bomber, the Blackburn Skua (see Arkive.com).
Our latest low-tide seal count on 13th July gave 449 Grey Seals and 38 Common Seals hauled out on the sands.
And to finish with, our latest guess the legs:
Sarah (Seasonal Ranger)