Sunday, 14 September 2014

Amwell Two Days in a Row

Colin is still out of action so I am still sticking to local birding.
Saturday morning's weather forecast suggested that the only sunny spells would be mid day Saturday so I thought I'd best try for the Willow Emeralds at Amwell again.
It was quite pleasant when i arrived, cloudy, warm with some brighter spells, but with a northerly breeze. This seemed to be rather productive and there was a constant movement of birds along the valley. Predominantly hirundines-Phil recorded two hundred plus Swallows and fifty House Martins through the morning. Meadow Pipits were frequent, and there were plenty of Goldfinches and Jays flying around as well.
One Common Sandpiper was the only wader of note. At least two Hobby were present, and a very nice bonus was the peregrine that swept through the Lapwing flock before flying over to the woods-which upset one of the Hobbies that was perched at the top of one of the trees.
Eventually I went over to Hollycross with Phil and Dave, and searched the ditch at the start of the boardwalk. Unfortunately it was rather dull cool and breezy and despite a thorough search we failed to find any Emeralds.
Rather annoyingly, in the afternoon  it brightened up and three were seen ovipositing in the willows at the end of the boardwalk.

Today was supposed to be cloudy but there was hardly a cloud in the sky when I got up. So I went to Amwell again. There was far less in the way of movement, with only a few hirundines and Meadow Pipits. There was little to see from the viewpoint so I got down to Hollycross just after ten. Along with a number of other hopefuls I spent an hour and a half staking out the willows where ovipositing was seen, but without success. The conditions were not too bad, a bit too much cloud but it was a lot warmer than yesterday. We also tried to locate one of the Common Emeralds seen yesterday-Mick Cotton has been seeing one frequently. At his spot we did see something being chased off by one of the many Migrant Hawkers but it was all too brief.
A few Common Darters and Common Blues are still around.

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