Lade - 0630hrs - cool, misty, rain, n 1 - A murky start to the day with low cloud and drizzle sending hundreds of Swifts low over the shingle ridges hawking emerging craneflies. It really was quite an experience to stand among the broom with Swifts zipping around your body and reminded me of a time long ago when we used to flick net Swifts for ringing purposes at Maple Cross. Jackdaws and Starlings were also joining in the feast along with a single Hobby. High over south pit there were many more Swifts and House Martins, numbering well over 1,000.
Lee Valley -Had to go up to the Lee Valley in Herts to recce for a couple of magazine articles. First stop Fishers Green where the tern rafts were busy with breeding Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns. Plenty of warblers in song and a Water Rail dashed across a clearing in front of the Bittern hide.
Further up the valley near Ware, from the Amwell viewpoint, there were more waders on show than at Dungeness RSPB reserve! Lapwing, Redshank, LRP and Ringed Plover breeding, plus Turnstone and Dunlin on passage (and I just missed a Wood Sand). More tern/gull activity here plus Little Egret, Wigeon, Shoveler and a Spotted Flycatcher by the railway line.