Sunday, 3 July 2016
Every month I go and visit the little old lady in Stapleford who is my mother. She makes me try and do chores, I manage to wriggle out of them by falling asleep. I also manage to slip out of the house for a few hours down to an agricultural reservoir under construction just under a mile from the house. It has to be said this is a wonderful little patch and every time there is something of interest. Last night I refound the Pyramid Orchid (now plural) and well over 50 Bee Orchids–looking rather shabby and well past their best. Today, well!
First up a Marbled White, my first here ever (and for the local), and then as I wondered slowly through the grass with my eyes to the floor, I chanced to look up. A large raptor was moving west over the water meadows just to the south of the village and just to the north of me I presumed a buzzard, but it didn't appear so as I had in my bins. Dark and long fingered I could get no structure on the upper or lower wings, Slightly greyer head and some two or three tones going on the back and wings. So probably Marsh Harrier I concluded seeing as Fowlmere is a few miles to the west and Marsh Harriers are not unusual there, but I had some doubt. Something reminded me of the Black Kite I had up the Roding last year. Both would a first for me in the area. I changed lenses and rattled off a few sadly distant images. However on looking at them later I noted a slightly forked tail. Certainly wasn't a Red Kite, as we had one fly over the house later which would have been a house tick for my mum had she not seen one last time I was back (she did add Hobby though!).
So a Black Kite? No reports on RBA though... The consensus coming from later tweets: not enough fingers, ah well. Done by a Marsh Harrier again. Yay patch tick!
Funny last time I had to put a report in on a raptor in London (2 Honey Buzzards over Beckton) I had to do the same for 2 Honey Buzzard over Stapleford (on my mum's house list), still have to do the BK for last year, and might need to stick this one in for Cambridgeshire!
Things were quiet on the reservoir, a few Tufties and a single Little Ringed Plover–I presume they bred, but I didn't try too hard to find the proof. Today was about chasing butterfly and that was good: Brown Argus, Ringlet, Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Laarge and Small Skipper, Large White and Green-veined White