Friday, 9 August 2013

Fishers Green, Cheshunt - 8th August, 2013

Weather: Crisp, clear morning, warming up later.

Birds Total: 37
Plus: Comma, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Large White, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood butterflies. Unidentified Moth.
Plus: Banded Demoiselle, Blue-tailed, Common Blue, Red-eyed damselflies. Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Ruddy Darter, Southern Hawker dragonflies.
Plus: Harlequin Ladybird; Scorpion Fly; Speckled Bush Cricket.

The weather today was cooler than of late, certainly early on. It warmed up later, especially when not in the shadows. The forecast said sun in the morning, clouding over after midday. But only slight cloud cover appeared, making it slightly humid, especially in the Hides.

There were quite a few people about today, I have to say mainly dog-walkers, but not too many other birders. The Hides themselves were practically empty. There were plenty of birds about though, mainly out on the lakes. Lots of GCGs, some with humbugs, predictably from the Grebe Hide; loads of Mutes and Coots and Geese; a couple of Little Egrets seen around Holyfield Weir; half-a-dozen Lapwing and a pair of Green Sandpipers seen from the Teal Hide at the Hall Marsh Scrape; Reed Warblers showing well outside the Bittern Hide, with Common Terns attending juveniles out on the lake and lots of Green Woodpeckers yaffling away all over the Reserve. Chiffchaffs were seen and heard in some numbers and even a Treecreeper put in an appearance early on. A pair of Jays were spotted along the relief channel on the way to the Grebe Hide.

Common Blue Butterfly

There was a lot of vocal evidence that more and more birds had finished their end-of-season moulting and were now preparing for the long journey south. All over the Reserve birds were calling to each other, feeding away, flitting around the trees. Butterflies were again out in some numbers, especially the Blues. And, of course, Banded Demoiselles were again high on my list, although I didn't see one until I had reached Holyfield Weir. There weren't as many about today, being absent from the places I had seen them in recent weeks. But I did find plenty of them elsewhere, mainly in twos and threes, along the fast flowing streams. The sun wasn't as strong today, possibly explaining why they let me get a little closer to them this time.

There were lots of Dragons about as well today, one Southern Hawker flying up quite close to me, checking to see if I was food or foe. A Ruddy Darter settled and posed just outside the Teal Hide early morning. Harlequin ladybirds were out and about; I spotted a female Common Blue butterfly and sitting beside it was a Speckled Bush Cricket. Just before the finish I spotted 3 unidentified white moths. The flies again tried to make my visit annoying but this time I remembered the Deet!

Speckled Bush Cricket
Ruddy Darter
ID anyone?
It was an early start today and an early finish, leaving the Reserve around 3-ish. It's certainly good to be out and about in the excellent weather. And, if you read the Daily Express, we are set for another heatwave.