Bit of a tautology but true in the case of the once visiting only Migrant Hawker. They are now an abundant species in the UK and the first have started to emerge in recent days to take up their position in the avian battle against other flying insects. Lawrence Rogers got this great shot yesterday of one out on the trails, looking all freshly emerged.
Back to peculiar weather with rain and then drizzle during the morning followed by a few spots and distant downpours in the afternoon. Never seemed to warm up till about 4pm! Anyway, quite a bit of early morning wader activity with Lapwings, two Snipe and two Green Sandpipers on the Purfleet Scrape but no sign of the two Turnstones seen yesterday morning. One however was seen a little later in Aveley Bay in the company of 15 Dunlin, three Ringed plovers, three Avocets and nine Oystercatchers.
Turnstone & Dunlin (Andy Tweed)
Ten Whimbrel were also seen and amazingly seven of then had been seen by me over Barking heading in the direction of the reserve at 0650. They arrived in front of Andy about fifteen minutes later! Both female and juvenile Marsh Harriers were seen again and a Sparrowhawk spent the day picking off Starlings out on the marsh. Two Grey Seals were seen in the river and a few Swifts and Martins passed through. Two young Cuckoos were seen yesterday around the woodland but not today.
The extreme heat of last week has stressed out one or two of the new plants in the bog garden but we have kept them wet and have added a bark chip mulch to sooth them! I was in Norfolk at the weekend and visited the biannual Langham Street Fair where I bought some more great damp loving plants from Jelly Cottage Plants and a willow Curlew and some reedmace from Bob Lever. All these were put in yesterday by Terry Hart along with nearly £200 of donated plants from Smiths Orchard Garden Centre in Grays.
So we are well on the way to making the area look attractive to wildlife again. Many thanks to all who have contributed to the restoration of this popular area.
Click here to follow the death of a pond and birth of a bog garden...