It was back to Blacktoft Sands this evening on the hottest day of the year so far. I couldn’t go during the day as the heat was just oppressive. As it was when I left my house at about 4pm the thermometer in my car was measuring the outside temperature as 39° celsius!
I picked up Helen and we arrived at Blacktoft at about 6.30pm. It was still over 30° C at that time so we decided we wouldn’t walk too far on this visit.
Our first port of call was Xerox Hide where I had seen a small flock of Spotted Redshank on my last visit. There was no sign of the Redshanks here today but we did see a fantastic aerial display by two Marsh Harriers right in front of the hide. The male had caught a small bird and passed it to the female before they both flew beyond where we could see them. After a while I noticed two Green Sandpipers off to the right of the hide. These were probably the same birds I had photographed on my last visit here three days ago.
It was when we went up to Marshlands Hide that we found a collection of waders – a mixed group of Spotted Redshank, Greenshank and Common Redshank were all present and showing really well in the evening sun towards the front of the lagoon. A Little Egret and some Lapwing completed the species variety we saw there. All the birds looked great with the evening sunshine on them.
We walked down past Reception Hide and First Hide to visit Townend Hide for the last few minutes of our visit. Although it was now about 7.30pm, it was still quite warm outside. A few Herons and a couple of Greylag Geese were about all we saw from this hide this evening. As we watched it gradually began to cloud over a bit and the light became rather too poor to take any more photographs.
As we left the hide and rejoined the main path back toward the car-park, our final bird-sighting of the night was a ‘flock’ of Wrens in one of the trees near the hide. Helen and I remarked that we couldn’t ever remember seeing a grouping of Wrens together before, and surmised that perhaps they were a family of recent hatchlings sticking together for now. Not a bad scheme little birds – there’s safety in numbers after all!