Saturday, 11 June 2011


Myself and a group of four headed to Stodmarsh this morning, to see what we could find. The car park was a little quiet with Whitethroat and Blackcap being the most vocal. We headed to the Reedbed Hide where a Sedge Warbler was hard at work collecting food, Jan made us aware of a Little Egret which flew towards the Lampen Wall and the first of many Marsh Harriers was seen. A Bearded Tit called and showed all to briefly at the bottom of the reeds and a single Teal fed by the waters edge, also while in the hide a Hobby flew low giving some good views. We headed into the woods which like the rest of the reserve was noisy with the calls of young birds, it was nice to bump into Marc Heath (Reculver Birder blog) here, I'll be looking later to see what pictures he got today.
As we left the wood a Water Rail called, the only one of the morning , we heard Cuckoo at many points round the reserve but only managed one brief view another bird behaved similarly, Turtle Dove, we heard them a few times but just one brief glimpse as it sped away was all we were allowed. Along the Lampen Wall the rain started, luckily just for a short time, where we found a Treecreeper, after a quick coffee break we were treated to a female Marsh Harrier carrying a large frog, suddenly it was surrounded by young Marsh Harriers, one of which was lucky enough to be passed the prize frog!! what a great sight.
Along the Stour we added Yellow Wagtail, good numbers of Lapwing and were lucky to see a Kingfisher, a couple of Willow Warblers were also in song. Heading towards the Marsh Hide several Hobbies were up above Harrison Hide, the first count was 3 then 5, eventually we had at least 9 in the air together, a nice spectacle as they caught dragonflies on the wing. We also had a pair of Bullfinches and Common Tern was seen several times, a couple Yellowhammers sang on the way to Marsh Hide. It was reasonably cool to start with and not many insects were seen, the ones seen included Banded Demoiselle, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Meadow Brown.
We ended on just over 60 species, a really lovely morning with fantastic company and some great sights, I do like Stodmarsh there is always something to see and it was great to share it.


Steve Ashton said...

Hi Alan, I think we may of passed you as you were walking back to towards the Marsh hide this morning. We passed a group of 4, with one female I think. I was with another chap, and we both were photographing bugs and Meadow Browns by the field where the cows were feeding. Being my local patch, i am lucky to have such an abundance of species on my door step. Typical photographer, I just wish they would stray a little closer to get a photo. Glad you had a good morning.

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Steve, Yes that would have been us, there were good numbers of Meadow Browns there. It must be great having Stodmarsh close, when I visit it always makes me want to go back more :-) The Meadow Browns were staying at arms length when we went by to. Hope we get a chance to meet again and next time manage to realise who eachother is!

Greenie said...

Alan ,
60+ is a great record for the day .
Like you , I always enjoy a visit to Stodmarsh .

Marc Heath said...

I would love to have seen you you this morning but alas, I was at Reculver this morning and so it was NOT me you met this morning at Stodmarsh. Either the wrong name or somebody wants to be me, hopefully the first suggestion!!!!

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Greenie, I was pleased with over 60 and with Marsh Harrier passing food, I'm going to try not to leave it so long before I get there next time!

Hi Marc, That's embarassing, I wonder who it was? I have seen him before!! I saw your photos from Reculver and did have second thoughts after I did my post, hopefully we'll meet sometime and I can sort my poor ID out :-)

ShySongbird said...

A most interesting read Alan. Stodmarsh sounds like a great place to visit with plenty to see. The Harrier encounter must have been quite a sight.

I still haven't heard a Cuckoo here this year. A few years ago they were always present on any local walk, such a shame they have declined so badly in some parts of the country!

Alan Pavey said...

Hi ShySongbird, Stodmarsh is great, I've seen lots of different birds there including Glossy Ibis, Buff Breasted Sandpiper, Black Winged Pratincole as well as all the Hobbies in the spring to name just a few :-)

It's sad the Cuckoo isn't local to you this year it seems unthinkable that some of these things can change so quickly!