Sunday, 10 July 2016

30 Days Wild | Day 12 - Shelducklings!

Today started very damp, drizzly and foggy with terrible visibility. I decided to investigate the hide at Solfach as I would be able to sit indoors to avoid the wet, and also because Alison (who was also staying at the Observatory) had told me you could often see Shelducks and their chicks from here. I spotted the Shelducks and their six cute fluffy ducklings straight away! Also present was a small flock of Turnstones and a pair of Mallards. By lunchtime the weather had started to improve, and when I headed back out after lunch the sun was out. I went back to the hide to get some photos of the Shelduck family and alas there were now only five ducklings! The culprit may have been a Great Black-backed Gull which suddenly appeared on the scene, perching on a rock which the Shelduck family was swimming past. It was interesting to watch their behaviour – under the predatory glare of the gull the female Shelduck led her ducklings across the bay, while the male brought up the rear with many watchful glances back at the gull. Suddenly the gull took off and swooped at the Shelducks; all the chicks dived and both adults flew up at the gull, haranguing it back to its rock. After that attempt the Shelduck family made it safely across the bay to the other side. I really hope the rest of the chicks make it but it’s tough for a small fluffy Shelduckling when there are Great Black-backed Gulls around (not to mention lots of seals) who regard you as nothing more than a tasty snack!

The beach at Solfach.

The beach at Solfach.
The Shelduck family.

The Shelduck family, safely away from the Great Black-backed Gull.

A few more HDR scenes from today!

View towards the mountain (HDR).
I liked the sky so much I took two photos of pretty much the same view (HDR).

Looking down to the south end (HDR).
I really liked this Manx Shearwater-embellished door! (HDR).
The mainland, from the mountain (HDR).
Looking down at Bardsey from the mountain (HDR).
Coming back down from the north end of the mountain (HDR).

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