There has been some development regarding the Otter today. A few birders gained access to the model aircraft field where the Great Grey Shrike was showing today. The birders walked along the edge of the main ditch that crosses Lordship Marsh. A couple of dogs which were pets of the model aircraft flyers/Hovercraft members found an Otter on the bank and the persons present said the animal was in poor health with shallow breathing. Another Otter presumably a mother or an attendant juvenile was swimming in the ditch alongside and was reluctant to leave the sickly animal. After sometime the RSPA were contacted but the outcome from that conversation is presently unknown per Patrick Earith.
Making my way to the marsh after work and I walked along Moorditch Lane with a misty eye gazing wistfully down on the culvert where the Otter was present yesterday.
I bumped into Paul and Greg by the ramp to No.5 tank and we had a birdy chat for a while. After saying au revoir Greg left and Paul and myself watched over No.6. The water filled sludge tank lacked the vast expanse of snoozey mud that was so attractive to the big Dunlin flocks over the few weeks. Today a small cluster of Dunlin were squeezed into the edge of the only exposed mud and the dried out daisy beds. A few Ruff and Redshank were keeping the Dunlin company. While out on the water there was a handful of Common Pochard and Tufted Duck were noted. The big flock of Common Teal were very much reduced in number.
After Paul departed I headed back to my car but not before pausing to watch a female Merlin sat on a post on No.5 tank. At one stage it bolted from its perch and flew low to the ground. It had obviously something in its line of sight but I couldn’t take my eyes off the falcon to see what it was chasing. It veered at the last moment before hitting an earthen bank and then attempted to claw something out of a hole in the bank. A nearby Carrion Crow took umbrage to the presence of the Merlin and harried it away from the quarry.
The walk along Moorditch Lane would have been uneventful except for an obliging Kingfisher that flew a few feet ahead of me as I walk beside it in the ditch.
Observers: Greg Baker, Paul Ralston, WSM (image).