Sunday, 12 August 2012

A Hard Days Weekend


 



Arriving at the Entrance to a fog bound Grove Ferry at 4.50am on Saturday I found Chiddy already waiting and although he had to leave at 6.00 for work the completely still windless air meant the fog didn’t lift until well past 7.30 and it was still a bit murky, a Whimbrel flew over calling but we could not see it in the white out. Sunday morning was far better with a clear view all round although a bit of a mist rose as the sun came up. Both days were similar in the birding activity with 7 Grey Herons and 3 Little Egrets seen but no sign of last week’s juvenile Purple Heron but they are a very elusive species anyway and this individual was playing by the book so, it could still be around!! I did, however, see something purple from Harrison's on Saturday bt it wasn't the Heron.
Purple Balloon at Harrison's

Reed Warbler Marsh hide

Reed Warbler Marsh hide
There seemed to be a lot more Reed and Sedge Warblers about this weekend, probably making the most out of the hot sunny weather while they can having said that though, there is virtually no sylvia or phylloscopus except a few Chiffchaffs, 1 Whitethroat was flitting about near Marsh hide today and there was a particularly showy Willow Warbler along the Lampen Wall yesterday. At least 6 Water Rails on show now but no sign, as yet, of any Spotted Crakes.
Water Rail near Alder Wood

Water Rail near Alder Wood
Two Common Terns and 4 Great-crested Grebes were all of note on the lake and the Water Meadows had 1 Green shank, 1 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Little-ringed Plover and 3 Green Sandpipers while 4 other Green Sands and another Greenshank and Ruff were at the Ramp.
Green Sandpiper at Harrison's in the fog

Sparrowhawk in the Jungle

Sparrowhawk in the Jungle
There was a family of 4 Sparrowhawks messing around at the Jungle and other raptors included 3 Kestrels, 2 Common Buzzards and a Hobby. Bearded Tits were plentiful with small parties seen and heard in several places, 5 Turtle Doves were noted as were 3 Ring-necked Parakeets, a trickle of Swallows, a couple of Bullfinches and a single Treecreeper noted and there were 4 Green Woodpeckers including two juveniles and 2 Great-spotted Woodpeckers.
Grey Heron Feast hide

Marsh Harrier near the Alder Wood

Marsh Harrier near the Alder Wood
There were 2 Garganey from the Ramp on both days while Teal, Shoveler and Mallard numbers are beginning to rise. Saturday was a better day for odanata With Migrant Hawker, Brown Hawker and Emperor Dragonflies all seen as well as Common and Ruddy Darter, Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Blue and Small Red-eyed Damselflies and several Banded Demoiselles.
Brown Hawker near the Ramp

Common Darter

Black-tailed Skimmer female

Ruddy Darter

Ruddy Darter female

Ruddy Darter female

Small Red-eyed Damselfly
Common Blue
  
Restharrow Scrape at Sandwich is still not producing much although the drake Garganey that pitched up last Wednesday morning was still present this Friday morning and I even managed to grab a couple of shots of it when I popped in on the way home from work on Thursday, it was virtually the only bird there except a couple of Coots and Moorhens. A Common Sandpiper has been present all week and a Green Sandpiper sometimes shows up and after last week’s post about Med Gulls building up I have to say I’ve not seen one this past week, oh well.
Garganey drake at Restharrow

Garganey drake at Restharrow

Meadow Pipit by Restharrow

Meadow Pipit by Restharrow

2 comments:

  1. A nice selection of photos Martyn.

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  2. Another great account of Stour Valley Martyn and some great photos , the Garganey inspired me to go down to Sandwich on Friday the first time for over two years!!

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