May was spent filling in a couple of gaps in my portfolio of the breeding birds at Attenborough.
Attenborough is at the northern edge of the Cetti's Warbler's range and numbers here appear to be increasing. There were at least 7 territorial birds singing from the dense vegetation bordering the paths in the reserve this spring. Identifying their presence is straightforward due to their easily recognisible, explosive song. However, photographing these elusive skulkers is another matter entirely and it took a lot of patient waiting before I finally got good quality photos of this very difficult species!
Garden Warblers are far more abundant and often sing from fairly open perches in the tops of bushes, so it is a bit surprising that I've never photographed them before. One territorial male in the car park was particularly confiding in the early mornings before the reserve got busy.
Also in the car park, a pair of Long-tailed Tits were roving around the bushes with their family of recently fledged young...
Green Woodpecker was a new addition to my garden list this month, with a male foraging for ants on the lawn and posing on the clothes line post for about 30 minutes one afternoon.
juvenile Long-tailed Tit
male Green Woodpecker
Unfortunately, the sunlight was not at an ideal angle for photographing a Great Crested Grebe nest which was fairly close to the path, but to capture the precise moment of her laying an egg was pretty special....
The cool temperatures that were prevalent for most of the month meant insect activity wasn't particularly good, but I did manage to find a beautiful Wasp Beetle in my garden...
This harmless wasp mimic not only looks like a wasp, but its mode of movement is also very similar to a hymenopteran.
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