Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Happy Days

A late morning bike ride around Tottenham Marshes - in continued warm, sunny conditions with a Southerly breeze - paid dividends today, when a female/imm Marsh Harrier soared fairly low over Wild Marsh East/the N end of Lockwood at 11.45, mobbed by first a Gull then a Crow. Always a buzz to see a patch first, especially when it's a raptor...I know what the next bird of prey on the wish list is, but being mildly superstitious, I shall refrain from naming it here for fear of 'jinxing' the possibility (as if my thoughts have such powers!). Anyways, I have no qualms about predicting - with several seen further up the valley and at SNR in the past few days - that Hobby must be due any time now.
Also on the marshes were 7 species of warbler in fine voice - including a Cetti's again in the same spot I heard one recently (in vegetation by the concrete water channel running along the W side of the wooded area N of Pickets Lock) - but no sign of a Willow or Garden warbler.
Another highlight was my 2nd sighting here of a Weasel which bounded across the entrance to the 'Green' bridge - astonishing to think that these tiny little terrors can dispatch a fully grown rabbit!
There were also quite a few butterflies on the wing - had 5 species including orange tips and my first brimstones of the year.
A short spell of evening 'loft-watching' produced 2 Lapwings S and 1 - probably 3 more - Arctic Terns powering high to the N at 18.40. Had a 'very probable' 7 (1+3+3) Arctics yesterday evening too at about this time; it was during the last week of April last year (and 2008 when I had my humble little loft conversion done) that I first noticed these birds in small groups migrating high to the North up the Lee valley...truly a miracle of the natural world when you think of the vast distances these birds cover each year...happy days.

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