Grey Wagtail catching dragonfly
Today we sampled the delights of Brooklands Lake near Snodland first thing this morning where we saw blackcap, whitethroat and heard chiffchaff and sedge warbler. As we did a gentle lap of the lake there were sand and house martins and swallows flying overhead. Despite our best efforts we were not able to find the common scoter reported yesterday, but there were plenty of other birders there so if it was around it would have been found.
We then returned to the car park where a garden warbler had been heard earlier and did indeed hear it well, along with nightingale. As we quietly watched, a grey wagtail was feeding on worms and insects and after forays back and forth (presumably feeding young) it decided to grapple with a large dragonfly (further photos on the gallery). It took several minutes of flapping and whipping around with the bird trying to stun the dragonfly into submission before the prey finally relented and a rather large meal was taken back to the nest.
Eventually we had to take our leave and decided to move on to Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve.
The little ringed plovers were very active with several pairs displaying and nesting on the shingle banks. Egyptian goslings were sporting their spotty plumage and there were several families of greylag and canada geese chicks. Spring has very much sprung! Lapwings were displaying with their superb calls and whistles, and once again whitethroat, chiffchaff and blackcap appeared to be calling everywhere. There were several species of dragonfly about (all unnamed as our usual expert has taken himself off to Scotland for a couple of weeks!) and copious swarms of st. marks fly. Having just remarked at how annoying they were and why don’t hirundine take advantage, a sudden influx of swallow, house and sand martin were swooping over the lake and presumably taking advantage of this plentiful supply of food. The house martins were chirping away to each other – a real delight to hear.
So ended another Wednesday trip out.