Thursday, 3 October 2013

Fishers Green, Cheshunt - 29th September, 2013

Weather: Warm, sunny with a few clouds. Slight breeze.

Birds Total: 39
Plus: Comma, Large White, Small White, Speckled Wood butterflies.
Plus: Blue-tailed, Common, Emerald Blue damselflies. Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Migrant Hawker dragonflies.
Plus: 7-spot Ladybird; Dark Bush-cricket; Mink.

Surprisingly, its been over 3 weeks since I last visited Fishers Green so I headed down to primarily see if there were any Banded Demoiselles still around. Unfortunately, none were found, but there were one or two surprises today.

The weather today was warm and sunny with only slight cloud and a light breeze. No need for my fleece. I arrived at the Teal Hide, looking out at the Hall Marsh Scrape, just after 10. On the way down I could hear Chiffchaff and Long-tailed Tits calling. Just before entering I spotted a lone Common Blue damselfly.

Looking out over the Scrape I could see around 25 Lapwing over to the right; a few Teal swimming just in front of the Hide and a couple of Gadwall. There were 3 female Pheasants feeding in the distance while a GSW began calling. There not being much else I headed off.

I stopped just outside the Hide to search for dragons and damsels as before it had proved extremely fruitful. This time I spotted a Common Darter and a couple of Migrant Hawkers. There were also 2 Common Blue damsels, one of which was continually bending its abdomen, as if ovipositing, but it was a male. There were also Dark Bush Crickets casually sitting on the nettles.

Moving on around the trail I spotted more Common Blue damsels, floating up at my approach and more Common Darters, sunning themselves on the trail. And, with no breeze and some sunshine, butterflies were also around. Mainly Whites plus the odd Comma and Speckled Wood.

Looking out over Hooks Marsh Lake I could see all the usual wildfowl plus an adult GCG with a noisy humbug. At the bridge only Coots were about plus another pair of GCGs. There was another GCG as I entered the trail to the Bittern Hide. A few Chiffchaffs were singing their song to each other. Looking out over Seventy Acres Lake I could see plenty of Coot; Mute Swans; Geese; Cormorant and lots of ducks.

When I arrived at the Bittern Hide it was empty. I could hear a Cetti's singing with the usual birds on the adjacent feeders. Coppicing was in evidence over the pond, 5 channels had been cut, presumably in preparation for the Bittern arrival. Looking out over the lake, other than what had already been seen, I could see at least one Grey Heron. Then, out of the corner of my eye, on the right-hand channel, a Mink suddenly appeared. It trotted halfway down the channel, looked both ways, then trotted back and disappeared. A Mink had been reported in previous days but I didn't expect to see one myself.

I then headed out towards the Grebe Hide. On the trail down I had a quick look at some of the fishing spots. One of them proved very fruitful, seeing a mating pair of Common Darters; plenty of posing Migrant Hawkers; lots of Common Blue damsels; a pair of Blue-tailed and, best of all, a pair of Emeralds. The Common Blues were chasing the Emeralds and the Blue-tailed. They also surprisingly chased off a couple of the resting Migrant Hawkers. I've seen this behaviour before this summer.

Continuing on the path a Jay flew down to feed, spotted me before I could get close and flew off again. It looked in pristine condition, showing off its large black moustache. A Green Woodpecker also flew over, screeching out its yaffle. On the way to Holyfield Weir I could hear both Goldfinch and Jackdaw above. At the Weir there were mostly Canadas, one of which looked like a cross with a Barnacle; about a dozen Greylags; Coots and Mutes; a loan Pochard and a lone Wigeon and a family of 4 GCGs, all asleep.

By now I felt quite warm in the sunshine, when it was allowed to shine through the shredding clouds. I also noticed that there were now quite a lot of leaves on the ground, another reminder of autumn.

I stopped and looked at all the prime spots for the Demos but spotted none. I guess that's it for the season. I then found myself looking out from the Grebe Hide. Scanning from the left I could see 15 Wigeon; Coot City and a pair of Grey Herons perched on a tree. In front of the Hide were another 8 Wigeon; a pair of Little Grebes; lots of Mutes in the distance and more Coot. And out to the right one more Wigeon, making 24 in total; one Greylag; lots of Canadas and more Coot. I paused for lunch.

My second scan yielded 16 GCGs, one with a noisy humbug; a lone Shoveler; an LBBG and plenty of Cormorant. Just outside the Hide a Hobby flew over. And along the relief channel, just after the Weir, I spotted a Kingfisher fly past. And just before I left the Reserve another Kingfisher flew up the river, landed for a minute or so, then flew off.

There weren't too many people about today, but I did notice lots of litter. A nice day out in the sunshine.