Feast on the Foreshore

If you are a hungry Gull the further the tide goes out the more likely you are to capture your favourite seafood delicacy. And the water doesn’t go out further than during the current run of the biggest Spring tides of the year.

This Herring Gull has perfected the technique of turning over the weed to uncover the sheltering crabs.

 

 

but it’s this immature Great Black-backed Gull that has struck lucky with a large meal-sized starfish. (Great Black-backed Gulls don’t get adult plumage till they are four years old)

 

 

If you are a little fish or small marine creature you had better watch out because there are beady eyed Grey Herons every couple of hundred yards along the shore, and Little Egrets even more frequently.

 

 

 

 

I’d love to know how much more productive a tidal estuary is compared to a freshwater river in terms of food for predatory wildlife. My guess would be ten times the amount (but it could be a lot more).

At this time of year the Kingfishers move down to the estuaries, having run the gauntlet of nesting in holes in the banks of freshwater rivers (and hopefully avoiding floods), to cash in on the food bonanza. Even on a dull day their turquoise and orange outfit is bedazzling.

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Kingfisher

 

 

I really don’t know what this pair of Kingfishers are doing. They are clearly not looking for fish. I thought at first that there might have been a stoat or weasel in the bushes that was attracting their attention, or there was a raptor overhead making them hunker down, but it looks as though they were doing a bit of posturing and either displaying at each other, or threatening one another. Answers on a postcard please.

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Kingfisher pair

 

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