A young Peregrine was having a whale of a time out on the pools today and was practicing his hunting skills of all the terrified wildfowl. Bob Cooper was in the right place to get some wonderful shots. You can feel the speed and adrenaline of the massed flight.... and no he did not catch anything!
I love action shots!
With dark clouds, howling wind and driving rain and hail it was not a great start to the day (and please do not ask me about my journey in) but the afternoon was actually rather nice, if not a bit breezy and the windblown wildfowl out on Purfleet Scrape were once again shining in the sunshine.
Pintail from Bob Cooper and Basil Thornton. You can just make out the bronzy purple sheen towards the rear of the head and you have to have superb light to see this. Does not even get a mention in the books.
The Wigeon were zooming around in synchronised flocks and Shoveler were head bobbing in small groups. Lots of 'spring-like' activity from the Mallards with the females trying to keep afloat and out of the way of the gangs of randy males.
Incoming Wigeon - Tony Coombs
Serious flock of avian sheep (Val Callen)
This is an immature male Shoveler and is still moulting out those young scaly feathers. I just love the eyes! A great shot from Basil Thornton
The Golden Plover were wheeling around and the Dunlin put on a good show. The wind seemed to push the waders in at odd times during the day - almost like they were visiting the pools for some respite from the wind.
Love this Dunlin shot from Trevor Oakley....
The female Marsh Harrier was also having fun in the wind and was hunting very low today in the hope of spooking up a rocketing Teal or Snipe but I did not see her catch anything.
The Ravens were on the tip late afternoon and showing very well from the Concrete Barges carpark. I suspect that they are starting to settle down for the breeding season as after robbing a Great Black-backed of a huge meaty bone, the bigger male then offered it to his partner and flew round kronking with his throat feathers all puffed out....
I wonder where they will be tomorrow?