Source Another Bird Blog (http://anotherbirdblog.blogspot.com/2017/07/more-smarties.html)

More Smarties

A catch of Sand Martins was the major objective for today. I’d been to the colony in the week and noted lots of martins around with upwards of 450 flying around at any one time. I was due to meet Andy at the quarry at 0630 but first I spent 45 minutes at Conder Green. 

A pair of Oystercatchers had hung around the near island all spring and summer without much luck. They probably lost the first brood of eggs/young to predators but today, quite late in the season, their perseverance paid off when they appeared with a single newly fledged chick of one or two days old. 

Oystercatcher

Two Kingfishers flew past at their usual breakneck speed but within ten minutes or so one of them (or perhaps a third?) appeared on the parapet of the outflow. The Kingfisher spent five minutes doing not a lot before it flew across to the far side of the water and out of sight.

Kingfishers eat their prey whole, which means that there are bits they can't digest, so they regurgitate any left over parts as a pellet. Not the prettiest sight, but an interesting part of their behaviour, partly captured in the pictures below, minus the pellet. 

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

I counted 5 Common Tern, 4 Little Grebe, 6 Common Sandpiper, 22 Lapwing, 20 Redshank, 15 Oystercatcher, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret and 1 Reed Bunting. 

A few Swifts and hirundines fed over the pool and hedgerow - 14 Sand Martin, 6 Swallow and 8 Swift. 

At the quarry we caught 48 Sand Martins – 12 adults and 36 juveniles out of the approximately 450 martins around. The ratio of 1/3 adults/juveniles suggest a pretty good breeding season so far. A few of the juveniles were very fresh from the nest, others from first broods with less obviously sandy-edged body and flight feathers. 

Sand Martin

I tried to get some photos of the martins on the nearby wires but the morning sun was directly into the camera, so mixed results and far from perfect pictures. 

 Sand Martin

Sand Martin

Sand Martin

Sand Martin

Sand Martin

We stopped off at Gulf Lane and a look in the set-aside field and found 12 Tree Sparrow, 4 Linnet, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Skylark and 1 Kestrel. 

Kestrel
 
A very productive morning. Birding, ringing and even a few pictures!

Linking today to Anni's Birding and Eileen's Saturday Blog.