Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Jet black

I was putting my things in the car for a morning trip to Leighton Moss, when I heard the unmistakable croaking call of a raven over the house. A jet was heading south far above it. It makes for a simple composition. The flight profile of the raven is so distinctive: the long wedge-shaped tail, the long wings with distinct primaries, the powerful chest, and the big bill and head. Sometimes I mistake a carrion crow for a raven, but never a raven for a carrion crow.

Later at the Moss, two cob mute swans were having a testosterone-fuelled dispute which I guess was more about territory than competition for a female, even though one was in attendance. The extra shows the aggressor launching himself after his rival. An hour later they were still at it, actually locked together thrashing each other with their wings while taking hold of the opponent's neck with their bills. When it is said that a swan can break a person's arm, they must have been causing each other some damage.

At Lower Hide, there was a pair of lapwings in front of the hide. The male was doing his acrobatic display flight, and its agility in flight is so good, that it was hit and miss trying to get a photo with Big Len. I did manage one of it upside down as it rolled in the air, but it was out of focus alas.

A beautiful day of Spring weather, the chiffchaffs are now here in force, and ospreys are reportedly back at Foulshaw Moss. This is the most exciting time of the year for me, every day brings something fresh and new.

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