Monday, 11 August 2014

Amwell Dragonflies and Bertha

Bit of a quiet weekend. I was not feeling all that great, and the only promising birding being a Cornish sea watch on Sunday courtesy of ex-Hurricane Bertha we decided not to do any travelling.
I was feeling reasonable on Saturday, and with it being bright and sunny thought it would be worth going to Amwell and try and find some of the recently reported dragonflies. Ruddy Darters and Small red Eyes have been seen most days, and there have also been a couple of Emeralds, which are rather scarce for the site.
Heard a Nuthatch while getting out of the car. Tony was the only one present when I arrived, but Simon turned up moments later asking if we had seen a family of Black Tail Godwits, which he had seen heading this way from Kingsmead. Unfortunately they were not seen again. The only waders present apart from Lapwing were one or two Common Sandpipers. A few duck have also arrived since my last visit-a few teal, Shoveller and Wigeon.
I went down to Hollycross with Simon, stopping off at Tumbling Bay where we saw a number of Red Eyed  and Common Blue Damselflies, plus  Migrant Hawkers {everywhere in abundance}. More of the same on the Hollycross boardwalk, plus a few Common Darters and a lot of Blue Tailed Damsels. No sign of any of the hoped for species, I suspect that the heavy rain on Friday, plus the cool breeze may have had an effect, there were vey few butterflies flying all morning. One of the local Marsh Tits flew over-first I'd seen here for some months.
Tony and Mick Cotton arrived so I had another search with them, but still to no avail, so we made our way back. Stopped off on the bridge and spent a while watching the trout, saw more Banded Demoiselles than usual-for some reason, maybe the winter floods, numbers have been way down. Being sheltered, one or two Speckled Woods were flying but the large buddlejas only had a worn Red Admiral and a Comma.

Sunday was a bit of a let down too. The promised heavy rain failed to materialise for us, with light rain on and off all morning. Had a brief thunderstorm in the early afternoon, with a  heavy shower, and it was a bit windy at times. Missed the floods and tree damage that some seem to have received. The sea watching in the far west was nothing special either, small numbers of shearwaters were seen, but it was more or less typical for August.

The weather system cleared by early evening so we were treated to a fine 'super Moon' moonrise. If I had a decent view from the garden I would have tried to get a few images, but a Stevenage cul de sac is not all that photogenic.

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