Thursday, 2 July 2009

Hot Hauxley.

Heading out early morning to Hauxley to avoid the worst of today's heat. A beautiful morning I walked in to the Ponteland Hide and then the Tern Hide briefly before walking back along the beach. Lots of common birds around on the reserve with a few Redshank, Lapwing,Shelduck & Tufted Duck. Greylag was by far the commonest species inside the boundaries of the reserve.

Northern Lapwing, Hauxley.

There were a few juvenile Black-headed Gull dotted around the muddy shoreline, the first I've seen this year. I do like these as they always seem a little like toddlers, sticking their beaks into places they shouldn't and appearing curious and inquisitive. I noted the one in the picture below 'foot paddling' in shallow water as if to raise invertebrates, this must be an inherent feeding technique rather than learned behaviour?

Black-headed Gull, juvenile, Hauxley.

Also noted a Black Rabbit here. This must be a genetic inheritance as there are several places in Northumberland where Black Rabbits seem to appear year after year, between Pegswood & Bothal Barns, Howtel and here.

The Black Rabbit of Inle?

I walked back along an almost empty beach, kept company by the occasional tern moving south and a few Sand Martins over the dunes. I could only see one other person on the beach.

Hauxley Beach looking North toward Coquet Island.

Several groups of birds moved south as I passed some time trying to take arty images of shadowy wave formed sand ridges on the beach. Common Curlew and Cormorant, the latter moving inland presumably to feed.

The dunes were brightened with large splashes of Bloody Cranesbill in full bloom and widespread. Here as everywhere else at the moment lots of Ringlet, I also had one male Common Blue.

Bloody Cranesbill, Hauxley.

There's a small Sand Martin colony here on the beach where the dunes are vertical, I sat for a while watching the adults come and go and the young Martins popping their heads from the nest holes watching and waiting to be fed.

Sand Martin, follow me?

In flight they offered an opportunity to have a little practice with the auto focus and the rapid fire (6.5 frames per second) function on the 40D. I didn't stay too long as I didn't want to cause a disturbance, conscious that whilst I sat down to try and avoid looking threatening, they all kept coming in to have a look at me.

Sand Martin, Hauxley.

Further down the beach a few yards a timely reminder that life can be fragile and short, mornings like these are to be enjoyed as you never know when it's all going to come crashing down.

Northern Gannet deceased, Hauxley Beach.

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