NATURE'S NOTES

- monthly bulletins of seasonal interest 

- commissioned articles undertaken 

Truely A Rock Star!

When we think of that group of birds we call waders, we generally picture elegant, well-proportioned birds with long-legs and long-bills probing the mud for food. But the family consists of a range in size from the graceful curlews and godwits down through medium sized birds such as redshanks and golden plovers to the smaller dunlins and stints. They are a fascinating group of birds, as well as a special sight to behold on a winter’s day; flying in unison above an incoming tide to find rest and sleep, waiting for the tide to ebb exposing the mud-flats so they can continue to feed. Some have undergone an evolutionary divergence and now occupy specialist niche habitats; lapwing and stone curle

Nutcracker sweet!

Soon after day break, the first flights of Scandinavian migrants reach the east coast, within minutes the hungry travellers gorge the fruits of sea buckthorn, hawthorn, holly and rowen. Sadly, not all survive the long over-night journey from southern Norway and during the following days many remains of fieldfare and redwings litter the tideline. Exhausted, they die or become easy prey to the waiting gauntlet of large saddleback gulls. Only a portion of these Scandinavian visitors migrate; the remainder spend the winter months in their home countries, often in very large flocks. During periods of severe winter weather the number of migrants may be boosted by birds travelling from further east

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