After a bad year last year, the Hadleigh Southern Migrant Hawkers seem to be doing well at the moment, with numerous sightings in the area.
Based on recent reports, we went down to the new RSPB reserve of West Canvey. Arrived around 1000 about the same time as a group we knew from Norfolk. It was to put it mildly rather hot.
A search of the ditch and hedge running north of the car park produced a brief sighting of Southern Migrant, as well as many Common and Ruddy Darters. One or two Emperors around, but no Emeralds of any kind.
We split up and Colin and I headed north to the hide overlooking the lake. Just as the path turned towards the viewing platform, we found a small pool with a male Southern Hawker on territory. It put on a good show all morning and the Norfolk crew eventually arrived having seen we were busy with our cameras.
Butterflies were abundant-mainly browns and Common Blues with a few whites. Juvenile Whitethroats and Dunnocks seemed to be in every bush but apart from an Egret, a single Black Tail Godwit and one or two Yellow Legged Gulls among the Herrings flying between the pools and the Pitsea tip we did not see many birds.
Called in at another part of the marsh, soon to be another RSPB reserve. Hoped to locate Great Green Bush Cricket and was pointed in the right direction by the site manager but did not see any. Did find a Dark Bush Cricket and the ever present Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers.