• Sun. May 26th, 2024

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Angle Bay – gulls and ants yesterday afternoon

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Needing a bit of a break from working on various reports, we
decided to visit Angle Bay yesterday afternoon where we had not been to for ages. 

On warm calm sunny days at this time of year (all too rare this summer) millions
of ants take to the air before coming back to earth after mating etc. Yesterday
afternoon was one of those occasions around Angle. Large numbers of temporarily winged-ants were
rising into the air having been helped/dragged to various launch pads by numerous
worker ants.

This one was probably being helped by workers on a concrete block launch site at the Rhoscrowther end  

Many more ants were rising into the air on the edge of the saltmarsh at the harbour-end

Gulls of course and other birds recognise that large numbers
of ants are on the move. So it was not surprising to see various species – Herring,
LBB, Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls (at least a dozen, perhaps 20 Med
Gulls) circling around the bay, as well as over the harbour and the Angle
peninsula coast, hunting ants flying high in the air. Many of the gulls were in wing and tail moult, Med Gulls looking especially scruffy. Other gulls (perhaps wiser
ones?) were swimming around the bay catching hapless ants that missed landfall on
return to earth and ended up in the sea.

Not the most handsome of gulls when in moult

A moment of capture – there must have been millions of ants in the air over Pembrokeshire yesterday

A couple of Little Egrets also appeared to catching ants in
the air over Angle Harbour. We noted at least 18 Little Egrets in small groups around
the bay but there could have been more. Other birds in the area included a minimum of
44 Oystercatchers, 30+ Curlews, Whimbrels (heard), and a Kestrel hunting over
the Chapel Bay Fort area.