Birds Total: 36
Plus: Comma, Holly Blue, Large White, Meadow Brown, Small White, Speckled Wood butterflies.
Plus: Banded Demoiselle, Blue-tailed, Common Blue damselflies. Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Ruddy Darter, Southern Hawker dragonflies.
There was still a paucity of bird species today, so I again concentrated on Dragons and Damsels. And I'm pleased to say they didn't disappoint. There were many Migrant Hawkers about today, a lot of them posing nicely. Darters, both Common and Ruddy, were also very accommodating. Even a Brown Hawker flew in and landed not far from me, although I had to get down and dirty to his level for any shots. On the damsel front, I managed to find some Demoiselles, although they made me work very hard. There were lots and lots of Common Blues but only about half-a-dozen Blue-tailed.
The weather was again very kind today. It was warm and sunny with very little cloud. Even the forecasters managed to get today right. It was all balanced by a cool breeze.
I took a slightly different route today than my usual one. I arrived at the Teal Hide by the Hall Marsh Scrape around 9.30 and, instead of walking between the lakes, I walked along Horsemill Stream, which is also a main public footpath. From there I visited both the Bittern and the Grebe Hides.
It was a disappointing start from the Teal Hide, only ducks and pigeons were about. Someone had cut back all the reeds and grass in the field directly in front of the Hide, which opened up food possibilities for the birds. But I had to make do with a pair of noisy Carrion Crows and a Magpie who wandered around the area, all keeping a wary eye on me. A Stock Dove also flew in to try his luck.
But then, out to the far right, I saw some movement in the water. Looking through my Bins I saw a lone Snipe feeding away, head swinging back and forth, sweeping the water. Then a Little Egret flew in and proceeded to stalk the area, shaking its leg in the water disturbing anything that might prove edible. Not long after I spotted 2 Green Sandpipers, also away to the right, having a slight dispute. One was chasing the other, making lots of fuss about it. I guess nagging isn't just a human thing.
As I walked out the door, down the walkway, a Grey Squirrel wandered past in front of me. It hopped up onto the rails and looked at me. As I got closer it jumped up onto the nearest branch and looked at me. Seeing that there was no food to be had it bade me farewell and disappeared into the tall tree.
Whilst I was in the Hide I noted the absence of any Reed or Sedge Warblers in the area, another reminder of the inexorable call of Autumn. But, on a positive note, that means that the Bitterns could be back here in a few months.
I arrived at Holyfield Weir to find dozens and dozens of Canada Geese, all lined up along weir itself. Coots; BHGs; Gadwalls; a GCG and humbug and a few Greylags were also present. And it seemed like every possible perch was taken up. I could also see a couple of yachts out on the lake too.
Just past the Weir I found myself at the area where I had been successful in spotting lots of Banded Demoiselles during recent visits. Unfortunately, today they were absent. I moved on and tried lots of fishing spots, looking out over the fast flowing river. I could hear another Cetti's on the other side, hidden in the bushes. Whilst looking for it a movement on the stream caught my eye and I spotted a lone male Demo fluttering around, checking out possible perches. It was too far away for a photo. And, a little further on, at the other prime Demo area, I spotted 3 more, again on the other side of the river. The sun was in the wrong position and I calculated that it would be another hour before my side was in the sunshine, so I headed off to have lunch in the Grebe Hide.
Looking out over Holyfield Lake, most of the birds were over to the left, obviously because of the yachts. In amongst all the Coots and Mutes; ducks and geese were around a dozen GCGs, some with humbugs. A couple of Grey Herons were having a territorial dispute way out to my left. Then, just in front of me, on the reeds a little Wren flew in, pecked at a couple of flies and flew out. Lunch. Damn, I forgot the Champers.
|Female Banded Demoiselle|
|Male Banded Demoiselle|