Sunday, 30 June 2013

Back in the Valley

I thought it was about time I started updating some information from around ‘the patch’ as I has been a while with not a lot to write about unless, anybody is interested in numbers of Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Whitethroats, Coots and Moorhens etc. Now the summer!! Is passing us by and some of the early returning waders are starting to arrive it is now time to put cyber pen to cyber paper, as it were. Arriving this morning at 5.45am a Turtle Dove was purring in the Paddocks as I entered the reserve and, during the morning I saw a further 4, there were only 4 Cetti’s Warblers heard today whereas yesterday there were 9 and the Marsh Harriers were very slow to arise with just one female out early doors, there were 7 adult birds yesterday plus 3 juveniles around Marsh hide area but, an early Hobby flew towards Stodmarsh at 5.45am. Eventually I counted 8 Marsh Harriers including only 2 juveniles plus 3 Little Egrets, 2 Cuckoo’s, 2 Linnets, 3 Grey Herons and still plenty of Reed and Sedge Warblers singing and feeding young. Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were all encountered long the river and at the Water Meadows there were 17 Green Sandpipers, 46 Gadwall, 5 Teal, 1 Water Rail and 30 Lapwings (1 chick). Also while standing by the bench at the Water Meadows I saw a Beaver swim across the river from the far side. A lot of time was spent on the Lampen Wall looking over the lake where there were 20 Common Terns, 18 Pochards (4 females), 5 Tufted Ducks, 5 Great-crested Grebes, a further 21 Teal that flew through and landed on the lake behind the far reeds and a flyover Greenshank. Steve Ashton and Andy Hills joined me and we made attempts to capture Common Terns on our digital photographic equipment and while in this process Bernie Weight joined us freshly back from six weeks in the south of France.
Common Tern

Common Tern
Swifts and hirrundines were less noticeable today whereas yesterday several hundred Swifts (300+) passed through westwards during the early hours and plenty of Sand Martins were around although the Swifts did eventually start gathering over Collard’s, I only noted 5 Swallows and the odd Sand Martin. We did see another Hobby twice, as well as 2 Sparrowhawks and 3 3cy Great Black-backed Gulls that landed on the lake for a short while, Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were passing through all morning and even half a dozen Black-headed Gulls put in an appearance. Heading back towards the Water Meadows we had a fairly close Cuckoo fly by while along the river bank we tried to locate some odanata finding a few Banded Demoiselles, a Black-tailed Skimmer and a few Damselflies we didn’t bother to id!


Banded Demoiselle female

Black-tailed Skimmer
At the Water Meadows the Green Sandpipers were now 10 but the earlier Greenshank was present as were 2 Little-ringed Plovers, and adult and a juvenile plus a juvenile Pied Wagtail. Back on the Ramp there was an arrival of 68 Black-tailed Godwits whilst 1 Kestrel and a distant Common Buzzard were noted.
Part of the flock of 68 Black-tailed Godwit from the Ramp

Just managed to capture a part of this Jay as it flew by fairly close!!!!

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