Charlie's hide-soap operas

Down at Charlies today were all sorts of dramas for those willing to sit a while and watch them unfold. First up was what I believed to be a hobby chasing the many many swifts who were there around midday. Lovely families of sandmartins were hunting over the water amongst the swifts, the youngsters following each twist and turn of the parent like a squadron of mini spitfires. I was also delighted to see a small smattering of house martins in the mele too -i really hope those nesting under the eaves in the village raise plenty of chicks to boost dwindling numbers. A couple of nests are visible as you approach from Silver Street. The raucous cries of black headed gulls alerted me to a squabble taking place in the air between the BHGs who seemed to be mobbing a noisy common tern i was rather surprised at this as i would have expected it to be the other way round! Lonley - the pink footed goose is still in the area and still wondering why he isn't a Canada goose while the Canadas keep seeing him off! Now great crested grebes-was there ever a more lovely water bird? And there are THREE nests visible from the hide. Each of the willow bushes has been taken as a nest site despite being no more than 20 meters apart. But there seems to be no aggravation between the pairs -i did wonder if they may be related but that just me speculating. The middle nest has hatched and the little stripy chicks are hitching rides on the backs of their parents-looks quite funny with a small head protruding from the rear of a parent bird. However it is the third pair of grebes , visible to the right under the willow tree that really fascinates me. A coot is in residence on its nest in the centre of the bush however for nearly 2 weeks a pair of GCG have been attempting to get on the nest pile today they appeared to have settled for a nest less than a meter away from the coot at the front of the coot nest heap! Its my belief that the coot actually "stole" the nest from the grebes who were then unable to displace this aggressive and persistent bird. So they have had to make do and lay their eggs adjacent to the coot, who seems to have accepted the GCG and both pairs are coexisting side by side, we will see how things progress. The lovely little Oyster catcher chick is still on the island and a mallard brought 9 newly hatched chicks for a swim past the hide. How come I never see tufted duck or pochard ducklings ? So all in all another fantastic few hours down at Charlie's.