Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sunday Morning Coming Down

 
 
 


Arriving at the Grove entrance gate at 4.00am on a very still winless morning with a low lying mist and clear skies I was hoping all yesterday’s goodies were still present and not done the usual ‘bugger off overnight’ scenario. As the sun rose the mist became a thicker fog but soon burnt off as the sun climbed. There was a distinct buzzing coming from the reed bed this morning with hundreds of Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers competing against each other with song, a truly magical sound that can’t be explained. Also singing were several Whitethroats, a couple of Cuckoo’s and a Turtle Dove plus many other birds adding to the morning symphony. Joined for the day by Chiddy, Adam, Sue, Bernie and Chip Shop Chris we took a counter-clockwise tour of the reserve in great spirits. Four Cuckoos’ were seen including the beautifully marked Rufous ‘hepatic’ female on two occasions.  Four Hobbies were feeding around Feast hide during the early hours and strangely these were the only Hobbies seen all day. A drake Garganey was again from the Ramp plus a drake Wigeon and a drake Teal, 26 Gadwall, 2 Redshanks and the first of 14 Pochards to be seen and, 4 of 18 Tufted Ducks. A single Lesser Whitethroat was singing along the entrance, a Common Sandpiper was from the Ramp, 4 Marsh Harriers were seen and there were 8 Little Egrets, four flying south over Grove at 4.45am.  The Water Meadows held none of yesterday’s Stints or Plovers but there were 3 Redshank and a Greenshank and on the lake at Stodmarsh there was no sign of the two White-winged Black Terns, just 14 Common Terns. The male Bittern was booming between the Lampen Wall and the Marsh hide and two Bitterns were seen in flight over the same area. Not a lot to report from Marsh hide although 2 elusive Wood Sandpipers were there plus 1 Green Shank and 2 Redshanks. Chiddy, Sue, Adam C S Chris and I then went to Westbere where other than a pair of Canada Geese with 5 youngsters the birding was poor but, the dykes leading to the river had many thousands of tiny fish in them as well as some bigger ones, Perch and Roach I believe plus, a single Pike was seen as well as a Terrapin the size of a side plate. There were many Damselflies seen including a couple of Red-eyed Damsels, a few Hairy Chasers and at least 6 female Broad-bodied Chasers (a male was seen by the Alder Wood at Stodmarsh).
Broad-bodied Chaser at Stodmarsh

Broad-bodied Chaser at Westbere

Broad-bodied Chaser at Westbere

Red-eyed Damselfly at Westbere

Red-eyed Damselfly at Westbere

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