Monday, 12 August 2013

Rye Meads - 12th August 13

Weather: Mainly cloudy, some blue skies. Strong breeze.

Birds Total: 39
Plus: Comma, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Large White, Small Copper, Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies. Mother-of-Pearl moth, Poplar Hawk Moth.
Plus: Blue-tailed, Common Blue damselfly. Brown Hawker, Common Darter dragonflies.
Plus: Water Buffalo; Rabbit; Soldier Beetle; various Bees, Hoverflies and Wasps.

A weather forecast of mainly cloud with a slight possibility of rain made me decide to have a fairly quiet and easy day at RM. It was almost complete cloud cover today so not too many opportunities for photography.

I was expecting to have a quiet day, species-wise. But sometimes RM can surprise you. I had heard about the recent sightings of a female Garganey, most likely the same one that was present last year. I did see it, but only in the morning session. But I was very pleasantly surprised to see 4 Black-tailed Godwits in the same area, from the Tern Hide. It's been sometime since I saw a summer-plumaged Blackwit, so I was delighted to see these. Also seen in the same area were a pair of Little Egrets; a pair of Wigeon; Shoveler; Teal and over 90 Lapwing. At least 2 Green Sandpipers were around while over a dozen Common Terns were fishing and feeding young. I must have spent over 2 hours in this Hide over the 2 sessions. Just outside was my first sighting of the year of a Small Copper.

Earlier I had started at the Draper Hide where only about 30 birds were present in the area, including 1 Green Sandpiper and a couple of Common Terns. Nothing of note was seen from any of the other Hides, except for the Kingfisher Hide. I only spent about 30 minutes here but I did see both male and female Kingfishers, the male spending over 10 minutes on the far post. There was also a Wren's nest above the door of the Hide. A Grey Heron was opposite the Hide sitting underneath the camera.

The Blackwits may have been the star birds but the other star was a Poplar Hawk Moth which I found just outside the Gadwall Hide, the first one I've ever seen. More Mother-of-Pearl moths were seen as well.

There were a fair few other Birders about today plus lots of families. One of the best things about RM is the no-dog rule! A surprisingly good day after the last visit.