Broom GPs

A really good morning at Broom in warm and humid conditions.  Thankfully the rain stayed away.  There was once again plenty of waders to go through with a new summer plumage Black-tailed Godwit on the scrapes with the two Ruff, five Common Sandpiper (two on GLW), two Green Sandpiper, four Little Ringed Plover and six Snipe.
Heading to Peacocks which was generally quiet, the adjacent scrub and hedgerow held at least four first year Willow Warbler with one in brief song, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Common Whitethroat, and three Blackcap.Four Swift flew over, and there were good numbers of House Martin with at least 60 over the lake.  A Common Tern flew over as did small groups of Lapwing totalling around 80.A high flying Hobby headed north and a vocal family group of Sparrowhawk were located to the woodland behind GLW with both Kestrel and Buzzard seen on the walk round.There were also good numbers of Yellow Wagtail with at least 20 seen flying over.

Amwell GPs

Finally managed to drag myself down to Amwell for the Temminck's Stint that showed really well from the viewpoint representing my first for the county.Also on the reserve was a Little Ringed Plover, three Common Sandpiper, a Little Egret, and six Common Tern.

Broom GPs

Another good evening at Broom with now two juvenile Ruff on the scrapes, a male and female.At least two Common Sandpiper were present, the usual four Little Ringed Plover and five Snipe.Wildfowl were a little more conspicuous with my first four Wigeon of the autumn, joining 12 Teal and three Shoveler.Four Little Egret were feeding in the shallow pools and at least 10 Yellow Wagtail were flighty along the margins.A Clouded Yellow butterfly was seen close to the viewpoint.

Broom GPs and local stuff

The last few weeks have flown by.  Surveying has been fun but tiring in this heat.  It's been standard fair apart from discovering two Hobby nest sites, observing six flyover Crossbill, and chancing upon my first Purple Hairstreak for quite a while.Wanderings round the local area have been few and far between but it always provides an outlet from home office days.  The scenery never stops being a source of joy.

There's not been a lot around birdwise but a Marsh Harrier seen along the Wallington Road during a bike ride on the 3rd was my first for the local area. My first Wheatear of the autumn was present on the airfield on the 4th. Grey Partridge seem to have had a good year with plenty of youngsters around.
Not managed many trips to Broom but there has been a bit of quality there over the last couple of weeks.
A fresh juvenile Wood Sandpiper was present for a couple of days on the 2nd with a decent selection of common waders including three Common Sandpiper, two Green Sandpipe…

Peak District - Bearded Vulture

It felt fairly typical arising to misty cool weather conditions, far removed from the sweltering temperatures experienced down south.  With these temperatures, it felt that in no time the clouds would burn away quickly to reveal a warm and sunny day.  So by midday when the conditions hadn't changed, my hopes started to dwindle.  It was particularly cool out there with a stiff breeze tempering spirits.
By the time the elusive vulture had been sighted, we had climbed up onto a ridge out of view from the ledge in which the Beardie had alighted.

It wasn't until around 3pm when we arrived at the Woodhead Reservoir car park to finally see this majestic creature soar unerringly over the ridge south of the Crowden.  It was being constantly harassed by a local Raven, the comparison in size indicating what a beast this bird is.  The weather had improved markedly and turned out to be reasonably warm.

We watched it soar back and forth, disappearing over the ridge and then flying back again. …

Ouse Fen RSPB

This was a first visit to Ouse Fen RSPB a reasonable drive into the heart of Cambridgeshire.  It was a lovely warm morning with the walk starting at a small car park onto the defined paths that lead alongside reedbeds and areas of open water.
Areas of mixed woodland and scrub revealed at least two Lesser Whitethroat and five Blackcap with a minimum of three Willow Warbler around the reserve.  A surprise Crossbill flew over shortly before a Bittern was seen flying languidly past before dropping down into the reeds.
The reserve is punctuated by lakes and pools.  Following the Barleycroft Trail leads to unsurprisingly to Barleycroft Lake that held most of the interesting sightings.The highlight were at least three purring Turtle Dove with one individual perched high up on a willow.  
The lake held a family group of five Little Egret, a single Oystercatcher, 14 Lapwing and two vocal Kingfisher.

Peak District

A long weekend in the Peak District was planned with the aim of seeking out the 'wandering' Bearded Vulture that had been covering a large area of the high peak for a few weeks.  Unsurprisingly it proved to be another slightly disappointing no show for a species that had evidently relocated further north within the National Park.  There is continuing uncertainty as to the origins of the bird and its associated credentials but it appears likely that it may be accepted as Britain's first wild individual.The consolation was that the Peak District is an area of truly outstanding scenery.  Decamping at the brilliant Yorkshire Inn Hotel a short walk from Ladybower Reservoir with eyes set to the sky, it provided an opportunity to explore the local escarpments for the bearded wonder.The reservoir itself is an impressive engineering feat providing fresh water across the East Midlands aided by dams, pumphouses and two large iconic plugholes featured heavily in portraits of the area.