Sunday, 24 April 2016

Two Ospreys at Amwell (sort of)

I went down to Amwell this morning, but only lasted two hours. Even when the Sun shone it was freezing, with a nasty northerly wind and it never got above 5C. Still I got a few year ticks and a lifer out of it.
Three Arctic Terns were present yesterday, and luckily one of them was still around when I arrived. William and Murray were present and put me on it straight away resting on one of the exposed muddy islands. We later saw it flying around in the company of about half a dozen Common Terns. The Little Ringed Plover was a bit harder and it was only when Tony Hukin arrived to meet up with the Sunday regulars (more year ticks there as I had not seen any of them for ages) and got his scope on it that most of us got to see it. An invisible Reed warbler singing in front of the view point was another tick.
Some time after Tony Wileman arrived William picked up a strange UFO flying over Tumbling Bay to our north west. A big rectangle with a similar sized vertical line in front did not compute until it dawned on me it was a Boeing V22 tilt rotor plane (aka Osprey hence the post title). Never seen one before so an aviation lifer for me. Later on we saw two a long way of to the east apparently heading for Stanstead.
In order to get the circulation going and avoid hypothermia I went for a walk down to Hollycross. Heard a few Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, saw a single Great Spotted Woodpecker and a few Tits. Blackcaps were abundant as were Chiffs, but the calling Cuckoo was very elusive. As far as I know, no-one managed to locate it. I had left Tony making his way to Gladwyn Hide hoping to locate the Lesser Whitethroat that had been reported there recently but not since. Shame I heard one in the brambles near the metal gate at Hollycross. The only other thing seen here was a grazing female Muntjac, which made a change from the goats they used to keep there.
Nothing much different when I got back to the view point. The LRP flew in a bit closer, and a big flock of House Martins had appeared, joining the Swallows and Sand Martins. Had hoped for something like a Common Sandpiper, William wanted a Little Tern, and a few more waders would have been nice. So would a butterfly but I guess they had all froze solid.

May bank holiday next week and the weather looks just as bad.


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