Weather: Very warm, sunny, blue skies.
Little Grebe; Cormorant; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Mallard; Shoveler; Gadwall; Tufted Duck; Pochard; Kestrel; Hobby; Pheasant; Moorhen; Coot; Lapwing; Black-headed Gull; Lesser Black-backed Gull; Common Tern; Woodpigeon; Stock Dove; Collared Dove (H); Swift; Kingfisher; Great Spotted Woodpecker (H); Pied Wagtail; Wren; Dunnock; Robin; Blackbird; Grasshopper Warbler (H); Cetti's Warbler; Reed Warbler; Sedge Warbler; Whitethroat; Blackcap; Chiffchaff; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Long-tailed Tit; Starling; Magpie; Carrion Crow; House Sparrow; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Greenfinch; Reed Bunting.
Plus: Brimstone; Holly Blue; Large White; Orange Tip; Peacock Butterflies.
Plus: Azure Damselfly, Hairy Dragonfly.
Plus: Water Buffalo; Bombardier Beetle; Scorpion Fly.
The 3rd instalment of the great Kingfisher fledgewatch commenced today. But again no young emerged. Very frustrating. There will have to be another visit tomorrow.
But it was yet another gloriously, hot, sunny day. Hardly a cloud in the sky. If there was a minus it was that the sunshine was a bit too harsh for photography. I played around with the settings today, some ok, some not so ok.
It was another 10-5 day at the office. The staff at Rye Meads are starting to call me FILO - first in, last out. Actually, the gates were open about 10 minutes early so I got to the Kingfisher Hide dead on 10. I met one of the familiar faces on the trail going in and we still found one guy already in there!
The Hide soon filled up and was packed by 11. The usual photographers were in plus a few new faces. All of us enjoying the displays by both parents as they flew in with fish. During the first hour, both parents fed the youngsters, which was a bit disappointing. It meant already that there probably wouldn't be a fledging today. But the male did actually fly up to one of the nearby perches and gave us a really good close-up view. With all the shutters firing off it seemed as if Princess Di had walked in. We also witnessed a mating and both birds checking out a new nest hole.
After about 2 hours I felt that we wouldn't see anything and so I moved off, back to the Draper Hide as I did yesterday. At the Draper there were plenty of birds, as in previous days. This time there were no Little Ringed Plover or Oystercatcher. But there were plenty of Gadwall and Tufted Duck; about a dozen Pochard and a couple of Shoveler. Two pairs of Little Grebes had a couple of disagreements quite near to the Hide. Small numbers of Moorhen; Lapwing; BHGs and Common Tern were seen plus the usual amount of Coots. A Mute Swan swam up close and allowed me to watch it duck its head under the clear water, feeding.
I walked the usual route again but there seemed to be nothing new to report over previous visits. Tern, Gadwall and Warbler Hides were visited but there was not too much to inspire. At the Warbler Hide it was a case of 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' as I only saw one Hobby. The Marsh Harrier never showed. But I did hear a Grasshopper Warbler.
The Trails yielded little, one Azure damsel and a couple of Hairy dragons. A few butterflies were around but not really in any number, despite the windless, warm weather. Warblers were in evidence everywhere, singing away. A Whitethroat and a group of LTTs flew by, busy feeding and chattering away, some of them looking down at me, checking me out.
Back at the KF Hide it was as busy as usual. The Kingfishers will probably have fledged by the start of next week and I wondered how many people would be here then. In fact, today's visitor total seemed well down on previous days. Obviously apart from the KF Hide. My second visit saw one of the Kestrels visit the box a few times; a GSW in the area and the resident Coot chasing off anything that landed on the pond. The Kingfishers continued to come and go and we even witnessed a fish pass. But no fledging. The male again flew up close and posed for a few minutes, showing us his gorgeous colours.
Back at the Draper Hide the resident Pied Wagtail turned up. I also managed to get a few close-up views of Tufted Duck and Pochard.
I kept an eye open, again, for any Dragons and Damsels and even any Shield Bugs today but was again disappointed. But I did managed to get a shot of a Crab Spider.
So, Round Four tomorrow and my last chance. The weekend will see the Reserve packed. And anyway, I fancy a few weekend beers.