Sunday, 18 August 2013

Avocets & Blues

Lade - 0600hrs - warm, dry, sunny, w 3 - Following a sprinkling of early morning, nuisance value rain the sun broke through making ideal conditions for insects to come out to play. Consequently the main track beside the lake was awash with butterflies, mainly Common Blues, and what a marvellous sight it was too. In the shelter of the ponds there were many more, plus loads of blue damselflies, Migrant Hawkers and Ruddy Darters.

                                Common Blues, Lade

Birds were everywhere this morning with the highlight being a pair of Avocets swimming on the lake and another on the island, plus Green and Common Sandpipers on the islands within the willow swamp where the habitat looks perfect for crakes and did attract 3 Water Rails amongst the Moorhens and Little Egrets. Willow and Reed Warblers were numerous and there were several tit flocks on the move. Also noted Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker and a Hobby. South lake was packed out with the usual ducks, grebes, Coots, feral swans and geese, Sand Martins coming and going and 3 Common and one Black Tern. Best of all though was a Bittern sunbathing in a gap in the reeds on the far side of the lake. On the shingle 5 grounded Yellow Wagtail was about all we muster up.

                                Avocets, Lade

Continueing on with the local theme of things we checked out the bay three hours after high tide, so around midday, which was full of birds up this end, chiefly gulls but also a similar number of large waders to the other day, such as Curlew, Dunlin and Oystercatcher, plus notable flocks of 25 Ringed Plovers and 35 Barwits. At least 150 Sandwich and 50 Common Terns were resting on the sands with a single distant skua noted, presumably Arctic. Several more Yellow Wagtails were on the shoreline and 2 Whimbrel headed south calling.

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