Thursday, 22 August 2013

Rye Meads - 21st August 13

Weather: Mainly blue skies and sun with some cloud. Very warm.

Birds Total: 40
Plus: Comma, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Large White, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Copper, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Speckled Wood Butterflies. Mother of Pearl, Silver Y and one other Moth?
Plus: Blue-tailed damselfly. Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Migrant Hawker, Ruddy Darter dragonflies.
Plus: Rabbit; Rudd; Water Buffalo; various Bees, Hoverflies, Spiders and Wasps.

Well, Rye Meads came up trumps again today. I went down to see if I could spot the Greenshank that had been reported over the last several days. And when I arrived at the Tern Hide, where it had been seen from, sure enough, there it was.

Earlier, I had arrived at the Visitor Centre amidst a flurry of activity. I wasn't the first one to turn up and so I had to virtually fight my way through. No one there knew if the Greenshank was still around so I took a slow walk upto the first Hide, the Draper. On the way I visited the 2 little ponds to see what was about, absolutely nothing, and the walkway to see if there were any Water Voles were about. Again, nothing. But the blackberries were quite abundant today, looking delicious.

Though today did bring a bit more activity on the Passerine front, with plenty of Blue and Great Tits flitting around the nearby trees. My first sighting of a Robin in ages; a lone Sedge Warbler outside the Kingfisher Hide and hearing Blackcap and Cetti's Warbler.

The Tern Hide was easily the best Hide of the day today. Not only was the Greenshank still present but there were also 6 Green Sandpipers; 20+ Lapwing; 2 Little Egret; 2 Grey Heron; 3 Common Tern including a juvenile; Wigeon; Shoveler and Teal and even 3 Snipe. A Green Woodpecker could be heard as well. Although the Greenshank seemed to have been chased off by Lapwing after about an hour, as I didn't see it from then on.

The big surprise was seeing only 2 Blue-tailed damselflies, right at the end of the visit. There weren't even any Common Blues about today. Plenty of Dragons though, mainly Migrant Hawkers but there were also a pair of mating Ruddy Darters seen. Lots of butterfly action today too, Small Copper and Common Blue being the stars. Also several moths were seen, including one unidentified.

Plenty of visitors as well, mainly women, some with accompanying children. Grandparents bringing grandchildren out for the day and the odd volunteer.

There must have been a couple of hundred Coot today; a dozen or more Mute Swan; Canadas in some number; lots of Little Grebes; several Cormorants but, surprisingly, only a couple of BHGs. And from the Kingfisher Hide it looked like the KFs 3rd brood must have hatched, at least today, as the parents were seen flying straight into the nest-hole with fish for about 20 minutes and then flying straight out and away. The Grey Heron that had been fishing underneath the camera on my last visit was again there.

The weather was again warm and sunny today, as forecast but with not as much cloud as in recent days. And the good weather is forecast to continue for some time to come. Bring it on!