An adult Water Rail was showing nicely on the muddy edge from the little hide, just too far away for photos but this Hare was in range as it scampered away. A big flock of dunlin and other waders swirled around in the distance towards the Budge screen that would need a closer look.
|Brown Hare - legging it across the field|
|Juvenile Common Cuckoo taking Cinnabar moth caterpillars from Ragwort|
Here it is, un-cropped, on the edge of being in focus.
The Budge fields have been the best for breeding waders for as long as I can remember. Lapwing have done well, despite heavy losses to Corvids and Herons. There have been at least two successful broods of Redshank and Avocet is a new breeding species. The first brood of Avocets are nearly adult-size now and will fledge but the second brood is now only one very small chick. It looked incredibly cute tonight though, in the mud, with it's little up-turned bill. The adults seemed to be paying it little regard though - waders are crap parents.
I think a combination of a very wet winter which suppressed the marginal vegetation, followed by an incredibly dry spell (lockdown) along with the grazing by the six ponies has created the prefect sward height... maybe not for Snipe though which are pretty-much absent this spring.
Full list here
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