This is possibly one of my favourite shots I have seen taken on the reserve this year so far....
A fine shot by Jim Willett
Not for the first time have we seen a flourescent gull on the reserve. Russ Sherriff snapped this adult Black-headed Gull on last week (21st) down near the Concrete Barges. I am trying to find out whether any of the national gull ringing groups are marking in this way (they used to at Gerrards Cross) and will report back in due course. In the meantime if you come across it please let us know.. it is trackable however the yellow got there!
What a lovely day it has been with near unbroken sunshine (bar a brief squall) and a light breeze. Some of the 140 strong Golden Plover flock are now aquiring the black mottled bellies of summer plumage while several Lapwing have been seen tumbling over the marsh.
Two Chiffchaffs were in the woodland with one in full song but these are likely to still be over wintering birds rather than newly arrived migrants. The Long-tailed Tits have been continuing with their nest building antics and Dunnocks seem even friskier than normal!
Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Brimstone butterflies have all been seen on the wing and the Lizards were out basking again.
Peacock - Bill Crooks
Work has continued on the Kingfisher bank and pool today and both birds have been seen on the Mardyke and zooming through the woodland in recent days. Two avian surprises today with a flock of 17 Little Egrets dropping in from nowhere to spend the afternoon feeding on Aveley Marsh while our first Red Kite of the year came over the QEII bridge and drifted west upriver and was seen by many thanks to Andy and Phil our volunteers up on the river wall.
and as for Peregrines.... wow....