Saturday, 7 September 2013

Distinctly Autumnal

Felt moderately well this morning, so I decided to go out for a while and see how things would pan out.
Drove down to Amwell in light rain, and it was fairly cool compared to recent weeks. With the berries colouring up in the hedgerows it really felt like the first day of autumn.
With light drizzle still falling as i left the car, I hung around the old orchard on the approach track for a while. Two Song Thrushes, a lot of tits and lots of Blackcaps were feeding on the elder berries. As the drizzle eased off I went up to the watch point and as expected no-one else was there-Tony was sheltering in the White Hide.
The Kingfisher performed again, seeming to prefer the area in front of the scrape viewing platform where there is a nice post for it to perch. Duck numbers building up, with large numbers of Shoveller and Gadwall and some Wigeon and Teal. Snipe are more prominent on the now cleared main island-the ditches in front of the watch point have been cleared though the only thing that was revealed was a rather late Sedge warbler.
Phil arrived and soon after Barry and Simon turned up. Phil thought it would be a raptor day, and we soon had Sparrowhawk, one or two Kestrels and frequent views of up to three Hobbys. As usual Buzzards were numerous, but Kite was elusive and I only saw one late morning. The best bird was not the hoped for Osprey, but an adult male Marsh Harrier I picked up heading slowly south over the woods.
I eventually went off for a walk picking up many Chiffchaffs, a few Willow Warblers and more Blackcaps, but no other warblers. Spent some time watching a very confiding Treecreeper among the tit flock. A few butterflies and Dragonflies were picked up on the Hollycross circuit-the usual Migrant Hawkers were abundant with a few Common Blue and Common Darters. Apart from whites, and Speckled Woods, I found one Meadow brown, one Red Admiral and several Commas.
Back at the watch point things had gone rather quiet so I left , bumping into old Ron who I had not seen for a few years. Good to see he is still active.
Turned out to be a good day, with 56 species seen-and I missed a good dozen, at least half of which are seen on almost any visit.

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