Saturday, 11 May 2013

A Day in the Lea Valley

Ordered to go out today so I spent most of the day in the Lea Valley.
Arrived at Amwell just after 0900. The weather looked promising with the good chance of showers on and off so was hoping that something might drop in. Met up with Tony Jay and Dave at the watchpoint. Large numbers of hirundines and Swifts flying low over the water, the pair of Oystercatchers on the nest, The LRPs still around as were two pairs of Redshank. The injured drake Wigeon is still here and we also saw one Snipe.
A few Buzzards out in the warmer sunny spells-when Bill eventually arrived he pointed out one with a white rump-could catch someone out and calim a ring tail harrier. Wonder if it has any Harris/Red Tailed Hawk in it.
Decided to leave early and went down to Rye Meads, getting there around 1100. It was getting rather cold and breezy. A pair of Little Rings on the main scrape and still a couple of Teal around. Tern rafts are full of Black Headed Gulls (same with Amwell) so not sure how well the Common Terns will manage this year. One good thing is the large number of Cetti's Warblers present, with birds all over the reserve.
Spent a great deal of time getting images of the low flying Swifts. Hit rate poor but I got a few I'm happy with.

 The Kingfisher hide is full of photographers as usual, but the birds were proving to be very hard to get, with no sightings for two hours when I arrived. We did get a brief view of the male who came out to bath for a few minutes but rather a long way off.
One Orange Tip in a sheltered section of the paths was the only butterfly seen all day. There are still no reports of any dragonflies locally. Lots of Hedge Mustard flowering, as are Cowslips and Green Alkanet.

Called in at Sarah's and took Molly for a walk. Getting colder with light drizzle at times. Few birds seen.

Arrived back at Amwell after 1500 and discovered things had not changed. Saw one or two Hobbys and one of the Little Rings was close enough to get some images. Went over to Hollycross since the dragonfly walk is now open, the Marsh orchids are shooting up with two to four leaves showing but no buds yet.
Hirundine numbers still high, mainly House Martin and Swallows.


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