|Great Hardmead Lake at Amwell|
March turned out to be one of the coldest on record, especially towards the end of the month. But I was able to add Shelduck to my growing list. Another Pintail turned up at Amwell as did a wonderful drake Red-crested Pochard. Lots of Goldeneye were still in evidence whilst the last Smew sighting was seen early on at Fishers Green. Further sightings of Goosander were seen here too. The first Little Ringed Plover flew in to the Hall Marsh Scrape, while the first Redshank and a Yellow-legged Gull appeared at Amwell. A surprise visitor to Amwell this month was an early showing of a couple of Sand Martins. The well-travelled female Beardies then showed up at Fishers Green.
|Birding in Estonia|
June brought the first of the fine weather and with it the star raptor of the year which was a juvenile female Marsh Harrier showing up at Rye Meads and staying for the rest of the summer. Red Kite made a few appearances too. Hobby had returned and were being seen regularly, swooping down on unfortunate dragons. A pair of Oystercatchers turned up at Amwell and produced 3 chicks. Little Ringed Plover also had young here and were seen at Rye Meads as well. Redshank started to appear regularly and later on a few pairs also produced chicks. Common Terns were everywhere by now and were vying with the noisy Black-headed Gulls for the best nesting areas. The resident pair of Kingfishers at Rye Meads had turned up and early June brought the first opportunity to witness a fledging. Rye Meads was having a good month as a Grasshopper Warbler also appeared, with its very distinctive call. Water Voles were starting to show here for the first time. Butterflies new to the list this month were Large White; Red Admiral; Small China Mark moth; Small White and Speckled Wood. Red-eyed Damsels were also added to the list this month, seen at Amwell, whilst the first dragonflies were now out and about - Black-tailed Skimmer; Broad-bodied Chaser; Emperor; Four-spotted Chaser and Hairy all appearing. Insects this month included Ladybirds; Caddis Fly; the first Cuckoo Spit (Froghopper larvae); Dark Bush Crickets; Dock Bugs; Green Tortoise Beetle; the last of the Mayflies; Crab Spider; Spotted Crane Fly and Thick-kneed Flower Beetle.
Part Two to follow......