Dartfords & Dragon Hunters

The Minsmere dunes have been popular this year with visitors, there are a number of particularly laid back Dartford Warblers that nested along the seafront again.  The good thing about these birds is that they're used to a fair number of people being about.  It's not just people visiting the reserve, but those taking a long walk along the coastline exercising themselves or their four legged friends.  As such, you simply have to stand in one place for a while and they'll ignore you.  This one has a definite "Whatchoo lookin' at?" expression!

There was definitely a bit of argie bargy going on - I think the adults were probably trying to shoo off some of this year's youngsters, but whatever the reason, I wasn't refusing the pics!

The helpful sunshine was welcome too - it clouded over later on

Reed Buntings are not easy to spot now, they're much showier during breeding season, but they can still be found by the sharp eyed

Stonechats too haunt the dunes

It was over the reedbed that some of the most exciting stuff was going on though.  There are still a few Hobbies hanging around, polishing off late flying insects (not just dragons).  Luckily, everyone was well behaved and those unable to get inside the socially-distanced hide had excellent views from underneath

Not sure what sort of fly it's targeting here, but it's not big enough for a Dragonfly.  The Hobbies (up to three of them) kept perching in neighbouring trees and even on top of the hide!  The screams from people in the hide as they ducked below the windows, convinced the bird was about to fly in made for extra excitement :-) One of the younger, regular visitors (Henry) was in the hide and got a great pic of the Hobby on the roof (I didn't ask how far out he had to lean!).  I just made do downstairs where I'd take up less room

I don't suppose they'll stay much longer, they'll be off following the last Martins and Swallows heading south very soon I'm sure.  Until then however, they'll continue to give people some excitement!


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