I ventured back into the home county yesterday but misjudged
the weather and although it did not rain, I was not expecting the continuous buffeting
from the south westerly gale and leaden skies.
However I persevered and made it to Maldon for a walk along
the Chelmer up to Beeleigh Weir and back. It was very cool and I was not overly
surprised by the lack of insect life. I did
manage to find Red-eyed, Azure and Blue-tailed Damsels but nothing bigger at
Eristalis tenax, pertinax and arbustorum were on the Hogweed
heads along with a few Episyrphus balteatus and a few Greenbottles but nothing
more and I saw not one butterfly.
The riverside was verdant and some blooms were new for the
season for me with Great Willowherb, Purple Loosestrife, Meadowsweet and Hemp
Agrimony all out but insectless while Yellow Water Lilies were at various
stages of pre, present and post flowering.
|Great Willowherb |
|Purple Loosestrife and Episyrphus balteatus|
|Yellow Water lily|
The tide was completely out at the weir and a solitary
Common Tern patrolled the river.
|Woodpigeon down for a drink|
After a leisurely lunch in the car, as it was too cold to
sit by the river, I headed reluctantly north to Abberton Reservoir.
Unsurprisingly, I was the only nutter on the Layer Breton causeway trying to
stand up against the cross wind.
Two female Goldeneyes dived with the moulting Tufties just a
short way out amongst the flotilla of Canada Geese while swarms of Sand Martins
followed each other round as if connected by an invisible rubber band.
|Egyptian Geese are now a permenant feature here|
But it was all about the Swifts with thousands scattered
across the reservoir as far as you could see. It was far too windy to do any
serious scanning for anything abnormal so I concentrated on trying to takes
some shots as they hurtled low over the road and my head, turning ludicrously
sharp circles and switchbacks with mouths agape for anything caught in the
|All the specks are Swifts...|
|Common Swifts - all single shot mode with the Sony RX10 mkIV. And who says you can't take flightshots with a Bridge camera?|
After forty-odd years of birding this spectacle never ceases
to make me smile.
From here I had a quick check of the Layer de la Haye before
aborting mission and slowly wending my way back south passing two singing male
Corn Buntings on the roadside just before Goldhanger.
I dropped in at a couple of garden centres before getting to
Canvey and deciding that it would be pointless to even go and look for ditch
damsels and so left, content with two tussling juvenile Peregrines and a host
of Med Gulls.
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