Weather: Very warm, sunny, blue skies. Slight cloud.
Little Grebe; Cormorant; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; Shelduck; Canada Goose; Mallard; Shoveler; Gadwall; Teal; Tufted Duck; Pochard; Marsh Harrier; Kestrel; Hobby; Pheasant; Moorhen; Coot; Little Ringed Plover; Lapwing; Black-headed Gull; Lesser Black-backed Gull; Common Tern; Woodpigeon; Collared Dove (H); Swift; Kingfisher; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Pied Wagtail; Wren; Dunnock; Robin; Blackbird; Cetti's Warbler; Grasshopper Warbler (H); Reed Warbler; Sedge Warbler; Chiffchaff; Blue Tit; Great Tit;
Magpie; Carrion Crow; House Sparrow (H); Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Reed Bunting.
Plus: Large White; Orange Tip; Peacock Butterflies.
Plus: Hairy Dragonfly.
Plus: Water Buffalo; Cardinal and Soldier Beetles; Scorpion Fly.
4th time lucky today? I'm afraid the pigs were standing by for their maiden flight. They still didn't fledge. Probably over the weekend now which I won't be attending as it will almost certainly be packed out. A pity but that's the way it goes.
But they did put on a pretty good display today, especially the male, which flew up to the closest perch giving some great views. Everyone in the Hide was delighted. They fed the young every now and then and we witnessed both mating and fish passes throughout the day.
Otherwise it was a pretty good day out again, similar to the previous visits. The Marsh Harrier showed well again from the Warbler Hide and a Grasshopper Warbler sounded off its familiar cricket-like trill again, this time from the left-hand side of the Hide; the Draper Hide provided the best of the action - 2 Shelduck appeared towards the end of the day; a 3rd male Shoveler turned up, as did a 2nd LRP. In fact the LRPs gave quite a good flying display around the island, with the female continually singing and seeming to be a little agitated. She ignored the males puffed up advances and was even seen to chase off a couple of Gadwall. Possibly protecting eggs? A lone Pied Wagtail was again busily feeding on the island. Both male and female GSWs were seen from the KF Hide and most of the usual Warblers were heard along the trails.
Lots more visitors to the Reserve today, again mainly in the KF Hide where there was again standing room only. It clouded over a little towards the end of the visit but it remained very warm and dry. A full week of great weather and about time too!
I left my contact number with one of the volunteers and if I don't hear from him over the weekend I'll assume the Kingfishers haven't fledged and I might try again on Monday. Otherwise it will be Amwell.