Tuesday, 30 May 2017

A Quick Visit to Doffcocker Lodge

This afternoon I nipped over to Doffcocker Lodge ion Bolton to see how the Terns were doing. These birds breed here and so it's always been a good place to see them fishing, but sadly they've been decreasing in numbers even since I've been coming. Last year the floating gravel rafts put out for them to use to breed seemed to have lost their anchorages and were drifting around the lodge, but I've read that this has now been fixed for this year.

The Terns here are Common Terns and I could only count eight of them spread out amongst the three rafts today.  However, it was difficult to be sure as there was a lot of vegetation growing on the rafts which obscured the low-sitting birds from sight. Eight birds would probably mean four breeding pairs.

Most of the birds stayed quite distant with only a few flights and none where I saw a fish being caught or carried.  The best moment was when two of the birds starting squabbling in the air, but as I was talking to a very nice bloke from Yorkshire at the time, I didn't manage to get any shots.

Just as I'd decided to leave, one bird came quite close and sat on a 'No Fishing' sign for several minutes. Getting a photo of a bird perched on this sign whilst eating a fish is the 'holy grail' of shots for me at Doffcocker, so I hung around for another half hour waiting to see if this would happen - it didn't.  But here's a shot just to prove that Terns can't read:

And here's a bit of video to finish off with ....

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