Saturday, 21 May 2011
May birdrace - part 2
On to Stodmarsh. In fact Grove Ferry, which we figured would be the best bit of the huge Stour Valley NNR to visit. We paused for a nice lunch at the Grove Ferry Inn, then took the trail out to the big viewpoint, and onwards to the hides.
The reedbeds yielded a couple of glimpses of Bearded Tits, while from the Feast hide came our only wader (apart from Lapwings). It was a good one though, a fine Greenshank wading about among dozy Mallards.
Nearby was one of the very few Odonata we saw all day but I thought immediately that it looked different to the Common Blues and Azures I've been seeing everywhere (though not today). Looking at the photos, I think it is a male Variable. That's going on the shape of the mark on the first abdominal segment, plus the incomplete antehumeral stripes. Get me with the damselfly anatomical jargon.
Jim left us at this point (it was about 5.30pm I think). The rest of us went for a quick look at the visitor centre. Nigel then also left, and Rob and I spent a very pleasant half-hour in the Firth hide, having been tipped off about a pair of Garganeys there.