Despite yesterday’s (May 20th) changeable weather, there were some periods of warm sun following the well attended botany meeting (report of that to follow) and 9 Swifts were zooming around over the Southern Marsh wader scrape at just above head height. With more ‘sheds’ planned on green fields nearby as part of the controversial ‘Veridion Park’ scheme, this was a joyous sight which we need to get local decision-makers to start appreciating so they begin opposing the tide of concrete for a change.
Below, a Little Egret strutted past a motionless Heron, which paid it no attention, and there were two adult Little Grebe with three small fluffy chicks.
Grass Vetchling, a pea family plant with long thin leaves that look like grass, was in flower on Long Meadow, re-sown with a wildflower mix a couple of years ago.
There was also some Rattle, which is a semi-parasitic species which helps weaken grasses and thus favour other showier flowers.
After a couple of showers the sun came out more strongly, and later on there were numbers of Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies ‘dancing’ around in the long grass looking for prey along the path towards the sea wall. Quite a few were tenerals, meaning they had only recently emerged as adults, and did not have full body colouring yet. A freshly metamorphosed Common Blue butterfly was a lovely shade of light blue amongst the grasses along a ditch.
A few Linnets were seen and there were a handful of Gadwall on the river, along with an Oystercatcher probing the mud for food. 29 Shelduck were resting on West Paddock. Cetti’s Warblers had been calling noisily from all over the place on both the southern and northern sections of the marsh.