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.