Friday 19th August

The first hints of autumn are now in the air: the swifts are long gone, the blackberries are all out and autumn passage is evident amongst the birds of the Meadow. I've made a few visits to the Meadow this week but with no sign of any re-emergence of the floods it's very much a case of thin pickings on the patch. The main point of interest is the increasing number of YELLOW WAGTAILS on the Meadow itself, particularly in amongst the cattle and horses. Indeed I counted at least 30 this morning and there were probably plenty more. There are still some loafing black-headed gulls staying faithful to Stint Corner despite the lack of water and the lapwing flock is numbering at least 40 now. Occasionally a LITTLE EGRET can be seen on the Meadow or on the river. Despite scouring the river shoreline there have been no sandpipers this week though there are still a good number of common terns about.

It's at this time of year that I usuall inflict some woeful point & shoot photos of yellow wagtails on my long-suffering readers. Well this time they're a bit better than usual thanks to my new Canon SX30 super zoom camera. Still not SLR quality but at least with the new toy I can zoom in much closer to the subject.

Burgess Field and the Trap Grounds held noticeably more warblers, including whitethroats, chiffchaffs and willow warblers, which are now clearly on the move south. On the butterfly front there was little of note with small heaths and the odd common blue being the main species of note.

It's even been rather quiet in the garden with just one red admiral popping in though today I had what I believe is a Migrant Hawker dragonfly popping into the garden a couple of times. If it lingers I'll try to get a photo.

The garden red admiral

The river is looking nice and full after the recent rain though we need a lot more in order to re-flood the Meadow so fingers crossed for a wet week or two!

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