Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Great Reed Warbler at Paxton

With it looking pretty good weather for butterflies and dragonflies, Colin and I went out on Sunday, but it didn't quite work out as well as we would have liked.
The weather early on was not all that brilliant, being rather misty and cool and there was no real sign of sunshine until late morning. This wasn't too bad as we called in at Little Paxton to see the long staying Great Reed Warbler. It was a bit chilly on the walk up to the reed bed though I did glimpse a damselfly of some description. The small crowd had been there for a while but had yet to see the warbler. Not hard to get a general idea of where it was as it was singing pretty much all the time we were there, but the reeds were some way off and viewing was a bit limited.
After about an hour, someone managed to find it, low down in the reeds but it moved before he could get anyone on it but a few managed to get a brief flight view soon after, and we had to wait about another hour before someone located it singing at the back of the reed bed.
Scope views were pretty good so I tried to get a phone video clip though the results aren't all that great.
By the time we left the bird, the sun was out and damselflies were out in abundance-though virtually all of them were Common Blues. I managed to get the scope on a large chaser, but had difficulty identifying it as I had completely overlooked the fact that Scarce Chasers were now breeding there.
The Nightingale we saw last time was still singing in the same bushes so I grabbed a record shot

We intended to go to Woodwalton Fen, as it is a superb place for insects, but all the roads in the area were closed, as was access to the nearby Upwood Meadows so it was bit of a wasted journey.
The route back home took us near Huntingdon so we called in at Houghton Mill on the Ouse. The walk east was a bit different to how I remember it from a visit many years ago and I think the bit we visited last time is no longer accessible. The riverside wasn't too bad, with several Scarce Chasers seen, plus Red Eyed, Common Blue and Blue Tailed damselflies but we couldn't find any White Legged unfortunately.

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