I was expecting to go out today, but Colin injured his foot at one of yesterday's rugby matches and did not feel up to a journey. We were hoping to get to the east coast, maybe Suffolk/Essex and try to get some of the Yellow Browed Warblers, plus the long staying Wilson's Phalarope (not reported today) and maybe get lucky with something really good. Seems like it was a bit quiet out that way so maybe we saved a journey.
So with a morning free I ended up going down to Amwell as usual. It was a lovely morning, not exactly ideal birding weather, light mist being lit up by the golden sun, which was also illuminating the colourful dogwoods and maples on the drive down. Despite the sun, it remained a bit cooler than it has been, only hitting 12C by lunchtime.
When I got to the view point the regulars did not have a great deal to report-the usual assortment of ducks, geese, gulls and so on. One or two Kingfishers put on a show now and again-the Rye Meads pair have raised three or four broods and the population in the valley seems to be recovering from the last two really bad winters. A Water Rail show occasionally in the reeds but there has been no report of Bitterns following a brief sighting last month-the assumption was it was a bird stopping off before moving further down the valley where there are a couple wintering. Cetti's warblers were very vocal, with one bird singing near the view point and one or more being seen occasionally in the reeds. I also saw another Warbler but never really got on to it-I am assuming it could be a late Reed warbler.
Overhead movements were a bit on and off all morning-most birds were likely to be too high up in the clear blue sky. Siskins were seen frequently, the large flock is still around, Five Skylarks went north, and I heard a few more over the course of the morning. A couple of Meadow Pipits flew down the valley, Song Thrushes seemed to be on the move as well.
Raptors seemed to be keeping a low profile, with only a single Sparrowhawk in the first couple of hours. Eventually two Kites and maybe five Buzzards started to show over Easeneye Wood, and while watching them, 18 Swallows appeared, heading south and not stopping to feed over the water. Don't think I will see any more this year, so thats another Summer over.