Trip reports

RSPB Strumpshaw

RSPB Strumpshaw
Daphne Hayward

Thursday, 20 June 2019

The birds were heard more than seen which is understandable as most will be looking after eggs or chicks.
We gave the meadow trail a miss as after so much rain recently, it was too wet. A barn owl hunted along the meadow as it must have had young to feed. The Fen Hide produced a marsh harrier at the top of a bush, several new red admirals and a mass of peacock caterpillars in the nettles. In the distance we heard a cuckoo and saw a jay sunbathing in a bush, beak open, by the path, completely unconcerned at being watched. A hobby was hawking over the trees.
Those who brought lunch ate it in Tower Hide while we checked the ducks on the water, mainly mallard with gadwall, coot, moorhen, shoveler, heron and black headed gulls.
We continued to the fen boardwalk, hearing garden warblers, wrens, willow warblers, chiffchaff on the way and seeing a few orchids. A large drinker moth caterpillar was photographed and a common lizard enjoyed the sunny boardwalk until we walked near. A beautiful swallowtail butterfly enjoyed the nectar in ragged robin flowers and we had views of another on the flower garden on the way back.
I counted 31 bird species including reed bunting, reed warbler, blackcap, two groups of swans with young, greylag and Canada geese, Cettis only heard.
Pat Wingate should have been the leader but had an accident last Friday, breaking her arm. We all wished her well.

Daphne Hayward