Had a brief local mega on Thursday when a Wood Warbler was found in Fairlands Valley. I called in after work for a short time, but there was no sight or sound of the bird. It was reported to be singing very quietly later that evening, but was very elusive.
This morning for a change I went to Rye Meads. The weather is not great again, cloudy, showery and a blustery winds, so I thought it would be nice to sit in the hides for a bit. When I got there, Christine told me there had been 4-5 Hobbys over the car park earlier , but there was no sign of any subsequently all morning.
Breeding is in full swing with much of the Draper Scrape occupied by Black Headed Gulls, wild fowl and terns. One Little Ringed Plover was found running round the back, and a Common Sandpiper was also present. Hoards of Swift feeding low over the water and the distant meads with a few Swallows thrown in, but strangely no martins.
Cetti's warblers very vocal all over the place, but remaining hidden, and it was also nice to hear a few Willow Warblers as they seem to be scarce again this year. I stopped off at the various pools just in case a dragon or damselfly was hiding in the vegetation-no chance of anything flying in this weather, but could not find any. The new seasonal trail along the river was a bit sheltered but even here, any insect life was hard to see. It made a nice change, offering a different view of the reed beds and the reserve as a whole.
I stopped at the Kingfisher Hide for a spell, but the only birds of note were three Stock Doves in one of the trees, and the hides overlooking the lagoons did not offer much. Most of the time was spent scanning the skies for raptors and hirundines, with the highlight being a harassed Buzzard.
Draper was pretty much the same as earlier, and I spent the last fifteen minutes trying to photograph the Swifts as they were still feeding low down, often at head hight over the path. A challenge as usual, but a few successful images were obtained.