Had an earlyish start on the marsh this morning, hoping for some migrants, Redstart or Whinchat would be nice Red-backed Shrike would be even nicer; the title says it all really! The only migrants were Warblers, quite a few of them really, Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, I wondered if the Cows were going to make a return visit to the marsh, (very useful if we are ever going to get a Cattle Egret) my wondering was halted on arrival at the bomb crater field, there they were, some of them were different to the ones from last year, and there were more of them. So the bait is laid it’s just a matter of time....
The Red-breasted Goose and Barnacle Goose were begging together at the bottom of Coppermill Lane; though we all that know tameness is not a bar to genuine vagrancy...err?
The Tufted Duck numbers seem to have peaked and are starting to drop a bit, or at least that’s my impression, the only other Duck of note was a single Shoveler in flight. Herons were conspicuous on the West bank of the Lockwood, at least 14 with 3 Little Egrets, loafing and fishing. I fushed them as I walked down the bank and one had the misfortune to fly across to the East bank where it was set upon by 50 Common Terns, I have learnt that particular lesson and gave them a wide berth.
I flushed a Common Sandpiper at the Southern end and thought that was it for Waders until I was halfway back down the West side when a flock of ten came off one of the little shingle ‘beaches’.
Best of all was discovering some Small Red-eyed Damselflies on floating sphagnum in the Lea about 200m North of the Ferry Boat Inn, certainly my first on patch, though I have heard that some were seen on the Waterworks, I have never been able to find them, perhaps they are on a private bit. If looking for these beware of Red-eyed Damselfly as they are on the same stretch, the slighter and paler look of the SRED is obvious when seen together but the best feature is the Tomato coloured eye of the SRED compared to the Blood red of the RED. I tried for a picture, I really did, but these things rested just long enough to get the scope on them, in the heat of midday they were definitely not going to wait for me to finish my juggling act with hat, glasses, cameraphone, let alone wait for me to line everything up!
On this day 03 08 1984 15:00-17:00 Wind S2 bright; 12+ Common Sandpipers, 3 summer-plumage Dunlin, 2+ Little Ringed Plover and 16 Lapwing. Of more interest 3 Ringed Plover.