Friday, 21 November 2014

Amwell Nature Reserve - 4th November 14

Weather: Sunny blue skies early on, clouding over later. Slight wind.

Birds Total: 46
Plus: Common Darter Dragonfly.

It was a very quiet day today. A bit of 'after the Lord Mayor's show' kind of day, especially after last week's visit.

Although the temperature had dropped around 10 degrees from last week, it was still quite sunny and especially warm when walking around.

The journey down provided 3 Grey Herons, including Harry in his usual spot. The area around him was again quite flooded. I wondered what would happen if we get the rains of last year. The walk up to the Reserve gave me a Green Woodpecker flypast, with lots of Dunnocks chattering away. Strangely, there were no geese or ducks to greet me this time.

Canal View
There were again a few familiar faces at the Watchpoint when I arrived and, with not too much to see out over the lake, we started putting the world to rights. It was an enjoyable 35 minutes or so. It had to be, there were few birds to see. The ones that did make an appearance, apart from the usual suspects, were a lone Green Sandpiper on the opposite bank; around 5 or 6 Grey Herons dotted around the area; a pair of Little Egrets; several Great Crested Grebes; a couple of Jays and a lone Buzzard high over the treeline.

Great Hardmead Lake from the White Hide
I walked down to the Gladwin to see if the Stonechats were still around. They weren't. As I opened up the slats I scared away a Grey Heron and a Little Egret. Another Little Egret flew in, making 4 seen today. There were also more Herons. A few Pochard were out front, while some Wigeon were out to the right. Lots of various Gulls were milling around. Then a Kingfisher flashed past on the right, zooming across the lake, disappearing through the trees. Another pair of Jays flew past here, while a pair of female Pheasants wandered idly past the Hide. Later on, just before I left, a female Reed Bunting flew in.

As I walked back up the trail I could hear Jackdaws flying over and some Ring-necked Parakeets screeching out. One of only two Common Darters seen today perched up in front of me. A quick look from the Watchpoint again gave me a close view of a Kestrel hunting along the trail.

The James Hide was quiet today, although it did give me a few more views of a Kingfisher, landing on at least one occasion. There were 3 Buzzards in the sky, some being mobbed by Crows. 3 more Reed Buntings arrived and flew around the reedbeds, chasing each other. A Water Rail squealed out its' presence. Then Ron arrived and sat down next to me. With nothing much about we decided to head around to the White Hide.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much to see from there either. So, in desperation for something to photograph, I began taking shots of the many Geese out over the lake. I decided to leave Ron to it and walked back to the James Hide.

Here I heard another Water Rail, then spotted it moving through the reeds. Cetti's Warblers could be heard then the Kingfisher made yet another appearance.

But it was starting get dark now and colder, so I decided to head back to the Watchpoint for another quick look before heading home.

A quiet day, but enjoyable in the sunshine nonetheless. Winter is the forecast to arrive soon.