Sunday, 4 December 2011

Unsuccessful predation of Common Redshank by Crow

I watched this Carrion Crow swoop onto a Common Redshank in the shallows of the River Esk mouth at Musselburgh this morning. After a brief struggle the wader escaped leaving these feathers behind. Undeterred, this and other Crows continued to try to surprise waders although there were no further captures witnessed.

I managed another Snow Bunting, this time along the sea wall. There have been two along here recently. This bird, with its clean breast and pale looking rump is probably of the Scandinavian subspecies.

Other highlights included a nice white-winged Mediterranean Gull on the scrape. This area is possibly destined to becoming designated a Local Nature Reserve. This would be excellent news. If so, I wondered whether the vandalised sea-watching shelters and hide bench will be repaired, and noted that the water is low in some of the scrapes as the pump is out of action. I have no idea whether that is due to vandalism. Certainly there seems to have been repeated abuse of the facilities at this site over the years. The destruction of the sea-watching shelters does not look like typical vandalism to me - more like an act of deliberate and thorough destruction. Of course there is more to worry about than the destruction of visitor facilities perhaps. I was particularly frustrated today to see the unnecessary flushing of waders, wildfowl and gulls today by dogs... grrr. Grrrr, indeed!


welchs said...

Have witnessed same there at Esk mouth on one of my few recent visits, locals taking dogs out until every last bird flushed from shore; same at Seton often enough - seems some just cannot resist the sight of a large gathering of birds on the shore, akin to a toddler let loose in a flock of pigeons.

Interesting post on crow attacks, mentioned on D&G birding recently hunting garden birds, Wren, Robin, Blue Tit etc.

Morg said...

The flushing of the gulls on the Esk shore seemed outrageously deliberate and systematic. Not a great sight.

As for the Crow behaviour, I was pretty surprised that the Redshank escaped to be honest. The Crow spent some time with the feathers as if it couldn't quite believe its prey had escaped...