Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Cold and Wet!

15th May - I arrived at 9am this morning when the band of rain appeared to have moved through, but it felt freezing with a north westerly blowing through at about 7 degrees - I wish I'd worn my winter gear!

The most obvious thing on arrival was the large number of hirundines flying low over the water - I can't think that there was much flying for them to feed on though.  Swallows and Sand Martins predominated, I guesstimated about 100 of each, with smaller numbers of House Martins, about 50.  At one stage the Swallows in particular started landing on a convenient stick and also on the spit edge.

2 LRPs were the only waders noted, presumably the same 2 that have been seen recently.  At 10am, another small wader flew in, but unfortunately it was just a Dunlin - still another passage wader at least.

Along the west bank a pair of Coot had 6 small youngsters - the third pair I have seen with young along this bank - I wonder how many will survive?

I left to check out some other sites, but returned briefly in the early afternoon to find much the same, though the weather had become a bit sunnier and warmer.  Hirundines were less obvious, but Swifts were around in good numbers, maybe 80 - 100 birds wheeling about.  A Hobby also circled over heading west.

Another quick stop at 4:30pm, as I had heard that a possible interesting wader had appeared, but alas no.  However, as I stood on the west bank, a 2cy Peregrine appeared low from the west and buzzed the end of the spit.  I first saw this bird on April 18th and it has been seen twice in recent days as well - quite brown on the back and quite dense but fine dark streaking on the breast.  The Peregrine flew through having a go at a Lapwing on its way and departed to the east.  The attack had made the Common Terns form a tight group and I counted 33 birds, my largest count to date.  Often there are 10 or less on the lake, with many fishing in the nearby Thames.  Oh, almost forgot, as I drove in, a Hobby was flying north over the A4155 in the village.

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