Its a long weekend, and things have started really well. Thursday night I started to develop a bit of a temperature as well as feeling tired, and Friday morning at work i enjoyed a nice sore throat. This was worse on Saturday-though with torrential rain at times I did not fancy going out. Bit of a shame as the east coast was getting a lot of migrants-the usual late August Scandinavian drift migrants, and a lot of stuff was also going through inland ahead of the rain fronts.
Felt a bit better today and went down to Amwell for a few hours. It was a bit showery as I left, but cleared to leave a bright and reasonably warm morning. Unfortunately there was not a great deal happening. There are four Common Sandpipers present, and one or two small flocks of Martins were going through. Duck numbers are starting to build up-there are a few Shoveller and Teal in now and it looks like the Common Terns have departed. A Kingfisher kept us entertained for a while flying around in front of the viewpoint now and again.
The usual Sunday gathering were present, and a nice bonus was William Bishop who I have not seen for a long time. Despite taking a bit of a birding break and concentrating on surveys and bio blitzes he has had a few good days-unfortunately one of them was at Pendeen last weekend where he was one of the many sea watchers who did not see the red Billed Tropicbird. Unlike most he was concentrating on the close birds so in theory might have been able to see it. Its a strange story best summarised on the Bird Forum thread, though Jono Lethbridge has a good account on his Wanstead Birder Blog http://www.wansteadbirder.com/
Butterflies were limited to Green Veined and Small Whites with a single Small Tortoiseshell and my first autumn Holly Blue. I saw one Emerald damselfly in front of the viewpoint, plus one or two Common Blues and Migrant Hawkers. Dark Bush Crickets seemed to be abundant.