Monday 21 April 2014

Nightingale & Bittern in the Stour Valley

Garden Warbler ... Honest lol

I was undecided to where to go this morning , either Oare or Stodmarsh , i finally settled on Stodmarsh which proved to be a very good decision , as i parked up in the reserve car park i instantly heard a Garden Warbler which was very near my car , it didn't take me long to find it and although i saw it well it never really stayed long enough for a clear pic as you can see by the above photo. I then walked around to the Reed bed hide and heard a Bittern " Booming " as i approached the hide and was again when i was inside the hide however i could not locate it , there was very little bird life from here but plenty of bird song , cetti's , Chiffchaff , Lesser Whitethroat and Bearded Tit all in fine voice but none of them wanted to show themselves.

Female Marsh Harrier.

I made a quick phone call to  Chidders who was around the other side of the reserve at Grove Ferry with Martyn Wilson and the decision was made to join them , i had time to add a female Blackcap to my year list and then a short drive and walk soon had me teaming up with Martyn and Chidders , after a short chat we heard a distant Nightingale which was my first of the year , then Chidders picked out a distant Hobby which was a great spot at that distance and was also another year tick for yours truly , we were then just chatting about the Grasshopper Warblers that they had heard early in the morning / night lol when Chidders said i can hear one now and i also picked up the call which was very brief .

Then Martyn thought he saw it fly close into and below the ramp which we were standing on , the Grasshopper Warbler then started to " Reel " , fantastic and so close , it begun to move around giving very brief glimpses and every so often it would " reel " before moving through probably back into the reed bed. We also added a quite high flying Kingfisher which was good to see.


I then decided to head off towards Harrisons hide and try to connect with a Wheatear that they had seen earlier so we said our goodbyes and of i went , i saw plenty of Sedge Warblers and heard Bearded Tits but failed to re locate the Wheatear , i headed back and had short look in the Feast hide but didn't really add anything new. There were plenty of butterflies on the wing , mainly Small white and Peacocks , I may of seen a Clouded Yellow earlier when i was near Trenly woods but it was very very brief so i can't be sure.

Another Peacock.