Sunday, 27 April 2014

Life and death at Maple Lodge

An afternoon visit with my eleven year old daughter began at the Clubhouse Hide where a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gull seem to have taken up residence on the tern raft.

We then made our way to the Rotunda Hide where a singing male Cetti's Warbler burst into song while several Common Pochard dabbled in the shallows. Continuing around the reserve we eventually reached Lynsters Hide where we discovered a pair of Greylag Goose present with two goslings on Lynsters Farm.

We then followed the footpath adjacent the Long Hedge where we happened across a small group of young Rabbit. As we drew closer they suddenly bolted except for one individual which on closer inspection looked ill. Under instructions from my daughter I picked it up to place under the hedge but it suddenly had a seizure and shortly after died. I think it may have been attacked by a fox and sustained a broken back.

                                                           Mortally injured Rabbit.

My daughter was somewhat upset so we quickly entered the Long Hedge Hide. Here we discovered a duck Mallard with eight newly hatched ducklings that cheered up my daughter. 

Before returning back to the Clubhouse we briefly visited Shell Hide where we noted a dozen or so nesting Black-headed Gull on the tern rafts that were briefly disturbed by a female Sparrowhawk that passed through very quickly.

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