Saturday, 7 May 2011

Burn Baby Burn!

I had a crack at the Hackney Grasshopper Warbler yesterday; it involved walking through the vegetation by the outflow of the Lea overflow channel by the Southern end of the Golf course. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Do not do this!

There is an invasive introduced plant that grows quite commonly by the Lea; Giant Hogweed. It has a phytophotodermatatic poison. That is, the sap when exposed to sunlight burns like hell. And no, I didn’t see the Grasshopper Warbler, or the on/off Mandarin which frequents the same area on occasion but I did get sapped.

On the Lockwood later in the afternoon I got a good dose of sunlight on the sapped areas.....ouch! Birdwise there was a large female Peregrine scaring the living daylights out of the 40ish Common Terns, 3 Common Sandpipers and a Wheatear. A very uncomfortable night followed.

Today we had rain, Spring + Rain=Waders right? Well after a fashion. I walked the length of the Lockwood and met Lol at the North end, we had the 3 Common Sandpipers and on the way back down a Redshank appeared from nowhere, (nowhere is a place well worth checking out given how many birds seem to appear from there!) it had a predilection for landing on water when disturbed, odd when there was plenty of edge to land on.

On the Southern complex the Garden Warbler was still singing North of the East Warwick, there were 4 more Common Sandpipers on the reservoir itself and at least 3 Hobbies drifted over. A Black Tern was over the West Warwick and a further 2 Common Sandpipers were on No.5.


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