Monday, 27 April 2015

Terns at Amwell

Following Saturday's successful and satisfying Hudwit twitch I was not intending to do anything on Sunday. However the forecast rain had pretty well finished by the time I to up so I went to Amwell. Phil had reported a Mediterranean Gull first thing which did not linger, but several Arctic terns were present.
It was still drizzly when I arrived, and rather cool. Found Phil on the approach track listening to the now regular Nuthatch singing and carried on to the view point where the usual crowd had assembled. The Arctic Terns were difficult to count, as they were keeping to the area around the main island, and only one or two had long tail streamers but the consensus seems to be that seven were present. They proved to be difficult to photograph as they stayed well away from the path, and what was not helping were the Common Terns appearing rather dark bellied in the poor light.

At least two Little Ringed Plovers were present, one was briefly in a display flight. The pair of Oystercatchers are nesting again, and there were several Redshanks around. Common Sandpipers were elusive at times but we counted at least four birds. Large numbers of hirundines were feeding over the water, predominantly Sand Martins and Swallows.
Heard my first Cuckoo, up near the Hollycross path, and both Sedge and Reed Warblers seemed to be plentiful. Also one Willow warbler, a couple of singing Chiffchaff and Blackcaps, and the usual Cetti's warblers were singing.
Had a chat with Mike Illet as we were leaving, and it turns out I may have seen the Deadman's Hill Ring Ouzel last weekend -it was poorly marked bird and was present in the same spot as the two 'Blackbirds' I saw on the north side of the hedge. I photographed both birds as they were too far to be identifiable in binoculars but the images lacked detail

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