Monday, 19 April 2010

New Hythe Lakes 19th April



The Blue Tit pictured above had just seen a Sparrowhawk whizz along the Southern edge of the Sunken Marsh and was in alarm mode, hence the very upright posture and the raised head crest. I had spent a while here trying to see the Sedge Warbler which was again singing just inside the marsh in a small patch of reed bed. I still didn't manage to see it but never mind, i'd already had a view of the Cuckoo earlier, also several Blackcap a Whitethroat and a pair of Grey Wagtails over Brooklands lake so I wasn't too disappointed.

I had a call from Alan Roman to say he was in the car park so I walked back and met him at the entrance track to the Marsh. The tide was out so we hoped for maybe a Sandpiper species, we didn't see one as it happened but we did hear one calling, probably one or both of the Green Sandpipers which have been seen a couple of times recently. We did however hear and see briefly the first of 4 or 5 singing Nightingales which was a NH year tick for me although disappointingly it's song was very subdued. A pair of Linnets also flew back and forth over the river a couple of times carrying nesting material, i'm hoping they may be nesting in the Sunken Marsh as they have been seen a few times in the area now.

A Buzzard was seen from the wide river path drifting South East and a Lesser Whitethroat called from the bushes along the Southern edge of Abbey Mead lake although we didn't manage to see it. As mentioned there were a number of Nightingales in song around the Country Park but again they weren't in top gear although the phrases were certainly recognisable. The stream that runs to the South of the East Scrub and along to the Divers' footbridge has obviously been polluted with something over the weekend and the water is the colour of weak tea. I don't know what the spillage was but this is even more bad news for any Water Voles that survived the stream drying up last summer, the Mink seen in the area, the harsh winter and the Environment Agency dredging earlier in the year. I have only seen one Water Vole this year but that was down the Millstream, a long way from this area.

On a happier note I saw a Kingfisher fly past as Alan and I parted company at the bridge. At least some of these little dazzlers survived the big freeze. I retraced my steps to try again (and fail) to see the Sedge in the marsh and on the way noted the second Cuckoo of the morning calling from somewhere in the East or West Scrub, I don't think it would be the same bird as earlier, it's a fair way from the Sunken Marsh.

Only three species of Butterfly seen this morning Peacock, Comma and two Brimstones, the second of which I managed to get a half decent shot of below.


I paid a final visit to the small riverside wood and found this large colourful specimen below growing in a sheltered spot among the old reed beds, I think it's Marsh Marigold. Hopefully somebody will correct me if i'm wrong.


Finally I noticed a few of these little Bees in the area, they were very small and first of all I thought they had bright yellow legs, but I think this is probably pollen because they also had traces of yellow on their forelegs and the front of their heads, my guess is that they've been on the Marsh Marigolds!


Warren Baker said...

Look like marsh marigolds to me also phil. I have some in my garden pond.

Shame about that pollution, lets hope the Voles can survive it :-(

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Got quite dizzy following you around today .
Bad news for the Water Voles .
Your bee looks like a solitary/mining bee , but which one ?

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Phil.
Well done with the Cuckoo sighting. That is what I was hoping for at the weekend but I wasn't so lucky. Well worth the visit Phil, you had some good birds,and nice weather.
They are Marsh Marigolds, Warren is right, as I too have them in my pond.