Monday, 4 August 2014

Rye Meads

Something  bit different to the usual morning in the Lea Valley, I went to Rye Meads. The successful breeding of Black Necked Grebes has been noteworthy, but I have somehow managed to not go and see them, and with only one juvenile bird remaining, it was now or never.
Three Green Sandpipers were on the Draper scrape when I arrived, along with numerous Dabchicks and Grey Herons. A few moulting Gadwall and Mallards were loafing on the banks.

The juvenile Grebe was on the 1st lagoon, and remained rather distant all morning. The water levels {presumably because of the Grebes} was a lot higher than usual for the time of the year and as a result there were no exposed mud or  stoney areas for waders.
The walk up to the Meads produced many Brown and Southern Hawkers, Common Darters and Black Tailed Skimmers. Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Garden Warblers were feeding up in the bushes but generally were hard to see. I did not stay long at the Kingfisher hide as it was full of noisy photographers firing away despite the pair of birds staying well away from the hide. Lots of orange and blue dot shots seems a bit pointless to me.
Back in the relative calm of the Draper Hide some of us were talking about the recent  Garganeys when my eye was drawn to two bird on the mud to the left which were clearly juvenile birds-for some reason in view of the pair earlier in the year I was expecting moulting adults. Two ladies had also picked them out, and consulting their field guide had pretty well decided they were Garganey, but the volunteer warden seemed to be convinced they were young Gadwall, but we managed to convince him in the end. The ladies had also seen a Clouded Yellow, though the best I could manage were Brown Argus and Common Blues.

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