Two young Green Woodpeckers played hide and seek in the chestnuts and the Ivy Bees were already active just inside the first entrance.
|Young male Green Woodpecker|
As I headed out onto the marsh three Corn Buntings flew over high calling - most unusual - they were headed in the direction of the Mardyke Valley and I started to encounter Reed Warblers and plenty of vociferous Cetti's Warblers as well as the usual Wrens, Robins and Dunnocks that seem to dwell in the phragmites.
Black-tailed Godwits dozed on Aveley Pool and the motley assortment of brown eclipse ducks along the back edge contained seven Pintail and a couple of Wigeon. A single Dunlin and a couple of Snipe were seen and a fine petrol plumaged Cormorant watched me suspiciously from the centre post.
A handful of Yellow Wagtails 'tsipped' over and there were dozens of Sand Martins and few House Martins and Swallows hunting over the pools and it was not that surprising that a dashing adult Hobby nearly parted my hair in pursuit of a snack.
Bearded Tits pinged at the Dragonfly Pool and two Sedge Warblers were spooked from the side of the path while a mother Little Grebe was still feeding two large youngsters in the ditch and Wandering Snails were doing just that....
The Thames was calm and quiet with just a nice flock of Teal squibbling along the muddy edge while more Sand Martins skimmed close by in their effort to catch insects in the lee of the big WIllow tree. Ruddy Darters and Migrant Hawkers were hunting low to the ground and eyes down resulted in me seeing a small warbler come up at my feet along the metal and concrete river wall section and flick into a hawthorn. Alarm bells rang for something different and I was then looking at a smart Grasshopper Warbler trying to hide but keep an eye on me. A cracking little bird with beady eyes and chevronned undertail coverts. It even cocked it tail almost vertically like a Cetti's Warbler sometimes does... learn something every day...
|Grasshopper Warbler - lurking|
A single Swift was noteworthy to finish up a good start to any day... Now eyes to the skies on a day with a fine easterly breeze....