Thursday, 14 November 2013

Rye Meads - 13th November 13

Weather: Sunny, blue skies, with slight cloud.

Birds Total: 41
Plus: Common Darter dragonfly; Dock Bug.

It was another bright, crisp, sunny day with hardly any cloud. It was also quite a cold day as well, a reminder that Winter is just around the corner. But, with lots of layers on, I braved it out again.

And, as the Glossy Ibis was still being reported at Rye Meads, I decided to chance my luck again. Unfortunately the bird eluded me as it only gave a brief appearance around lunchtime. That was when I was in the Tern Hide enjoying the brilliant Kingfisher show.

There was nothing much to report on the way down to the Reserve, other than a Collared Dove. On entering the Reserve I walked straight to the Lapwing Hide to find a couple of people already there. No sign of the bird in question. But others were on show including a Wren; a lone BHG; a few Teal; a few Moorhen; lots of Crows; 3 Grey Herons and 4 Pheasants. I decided to give it 30 minutes before moving on.

At the bridge by the Water Vole area, looking out over the meadow again, I could only add a lone Goldfinch flyover to the list. At the Draper Hide, where there were a few more people, I immediately heard a Cetti's Warbler belting out its explosive song, whilst out on the lake there were 7 Teal; 5 Tufted Ducks; 5 Shoveler; a pair of Little Grebes; a couple of Cygnets; 2 Stock Doves sitting on one of the nest-boxes and, for the first time in a long time, there were more Moorhens around than Coot.

Moving on down the trail, passing the first lagoon where there were plenty of Pochard; Mutes and Coots and another Little Grebe and deciding to bypass the Ashby Hide I found myself looking up at the electricity pylon where dozens and dozens of Starlings were perched. Another mini-murmuration.

I then found myself in the Tern Hide where I sat for an hour. This was where the Kingfisher flew in onto the goalposts in front of the Hide and sat posing for quite a while, preening, feeding and washing before flying off. The drake Pintail was still showing, albeit again at the back of the lagoon; around 200+ Lapwing; 5 Common Snipe; 3 Green Sandpipers; lots of Teal, Shoveler and Gadwall; a pair of Pied Wagtails, again feeding around the Lapwing; a pair of Common Gulls in amongst all the BHGs and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, maybe not the last one.

One of the Reserve volunteers was also in the Hide and she spotted a dragonfly, which was almost certainly a Common Darter, sunning itself on one of the numbered tombstones. A quick look in the Gadwall Hide yielded only Coots and Gulls again but with an additional Grey Heron perched on one of the Tern rafts.

As I was leaving the Hides I spotted a Dock Bug sitting in the sunshine. But just the one.

There wasn't anything of note until I reached the Warbler Hide. The middle window was broken but, with the aid of a screw-driver, I managed to temporarily fix it so that I could squeeze in, as the Hide was quite full. A Buzzard was showing well to the right, being mobbed continually by Magpies and Crows. It didn't seem to mind and just kept swapping perches. It seemed as if one of the Grey Herons joined in too at one stage. And then another Common Darter flew past the Hide! It's quite late to see them, but yet another reminder of the late seasons.

On the walk back to the Tern Hide a lone LTT flew over, reminding me that there weren't too many passerines about today. I didn't see or hear any Chaffinches or Greenfinches and I only heard Robin and Dunnock. I only saw one Blackbird and just a couple of Blues and Great Tits.

From the Tern Hide another Kingfisher turned up and was chased off by the first, which again gave great views on the goalposts. A Grey Heron was fishing in the distance while the only other new bird was a Grey Wagtail which came in close to the Hide. On the walk back to the Draper Hide I heard a GSW in the distance.

There was nothing new from the Draper, in fact even fewer birds, so I moved back to the Lapwing Hide as I had heard that the Ibis had briefly turned up. No such luck today and there were no new birds to be seen. The sun started to wan, the cold was getting into my bones so I headed home.

No Ibis but nonetheless another nice day out.