Yesterday was just a fabulous day! One of those days that every time you turn around there is something of interest that catches your eye! It was the day for banding the stork chicks at Sebes Nature reserve, so as I did last year, I went up to watch. I arrived at the reserve just after 8.00am so that I could spend an hour in the bird hides first. I walked up the board-walk to the first hide - immediately seeing long-tailed tits and goldfinches and hearing the unmistakeable harsh,croaky sound of a Great Reed Warbler and a loud outburst from of a Cetti’s Warbler. The moment I entered the first hide, a purple heron was in clear view in the reeds (where I know there is a nest). It was evidently perched on a branch which gave it a clear view over the tops of the reeds. And there it stayed, on guard like a meerkat for about 15 minutes!
After a while I decided to go in to the other hide which faces over a different lagoon, on the way meeting this Black-tailed Skimmer warming himself up in the sunshine.
In the second hide I was greeted by a very obliging kingfisher that kept returning to a branch right in front of the hide.
Barn swallows were dashing everywhere, two in particular were having a lot of interaction and appeared to be squabbling about who got pole position at the end of a twig!
Now is it me, or does this swallow at the bottom actually appear to be scowling? !
I then made my way up to the Stork Colony to watch the bird-ringing. There, I saw these lovely butterflies flitting around the blackberry brambles:
And also these two wasps, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea but nevertheless are still quite striking. No? Ah well, I was on a roll by now. Everything was getting photographed!
Finally, it was time to leave. As I drove down the track a movement caught my eye, it looked like a fairly large lizard between the stones! I stopped, opened the car window, reversed a couple of metres and slowly reached for my camera. Yep, a fabulous Ocellated Lizard!
A wonderful morning! And it just shows how important this small reserve is in conserving the habitat for such a diversity of species. And the Stork chicks? Not all the nests are accessible but an estimated 18 or 19 chicks have been produced this year of which 14 were ringed yesterday.
All good stuff!