16th May

With little rain to speak of there's been no last minute reprieve as far as the floods are concerned and this has left rather slim pickings on the bird front with little to report. The first SWIFTS arrived shortly after my last post and I was lucky enough to hear a male LESSER WHITETHROAT singing away along the Thames about 150 yards south of Weir Cottage. In addition a couple of COMMON SANDPIPERS were reported by Matthew Lloyd along the river shoreline north of the Perch. They can often be found along there at the right time of year when there are no flood waters left. Apart from that it's very much the usual suspects in the usual places. Burgess Field is bursting with Whitethroats, there are lots of Blackcaps about everywhere and the Trap Grounds reed bed is full of Reed Warblers but it's amazing how quickly one gets a bit blazĂ© about these summer visitors. 

Reed Warbler
There have been no reports of any Grasshopper or Sedge Warblers on the patch area so far. It's very sad that just within the last ten years or so we've lost two species which used to be guaranteed sighting each year. We've also yet to have any records of Cuckoo or Hobby though there's still time, especially for the latter which can occasionally be spotted flying over our air space at any time during the summer.

Now that we are moving towards summer it's time to turn our attention to insects and flowers. The first HAIRY HAWKERS have been seen in the Trap Grounds and we've also had the first LARGE RED DAMSELFLIES there as well. The Cow Parsley and May Flower are both out now and the hedgerows are full of their heady scent. It's a beautiful time of year!

Hairy Hawker courtesy of Nicola Devine
Trap Grounds Brown Argus

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