Sunday, 26 June 2011

Midday Sun

Mad Dogs 0

Englishmen 1

It was not quite midday, more like 14:00, but it was a touch warm this afternoon, still, undeterred I went out.

There were 704* people on the marsh this afternoon and I saw most of them, it was , however, relatively peaceful. Maybe the heat sapped the energy of the other marsh users, it pretty much sapped mine. I am not sure what I expected to see (no Crossbills as it happens, one day, one day) but I concentrated my efforts on the smaller creatures of the marsh.

A Large Skipper was my first for the year, other Butterflies were thin on the ground with a few Whites, both Large and Small a couple of Commas and a few Small Tortoiseshells. Dragonflies were not exactly plentiful either but a few Emperors showed well, including a rare perched up view of this usually constantly patrolling Insect. The only others were some Azure/Common Damselflies which I have both forgotten how and lost interest in trying to identify.

New for me on the marsh was a Leech in one of the ditches, Brown and about 75mm in length, not sure what species this is most likely to be. There were also, surprisingly, a number of Birds still singing in the heat of the day including Song Thrush and Lesser Whitethroat.

The most interesting Bird behaviour was a gathering of Swifts and Sand Martins over the Lea, behind the Ice Skating Rink, coming down to have a drink. The water was fairly undisturbed but still a supreme piece of precision flying to just dip the lower mandible of your bill in the water at 50 kph knowing that if you get it wrong you will not be flying again.

My thirst slaking took place at home later and was a much more sedate affair.


*actual number undetermined.

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