►Birdwatching in July

Group 1 – June ended on a high note with a shared supper and presentation by Jon Raper of photos from his recent sailing trip to the South Atlantic. The terrific shots of wildlife included Penguins, Seals and birds thriving in their natural habitat despite the many hardships. These were interspersed with human communities also living in inhospitable island conditions and the sailors dealing with life aboard the sailing ship in a range of Atlantic Ocean weather. Inspiring!

Our birdwatch for July was the RSPB Thames Estuary reserve at Rainham Marshes. Despite the 30 degree heat and very little shade, we covered the whole reserve and were rewarded with clear sightings of Marsh Harriers, Lapwing, Oyster catchers and a range of water fowl and other species (with maybe a Spotted Fly Catcher among them!).

Group 2 – A small group of five met at Finsbury Park to walk along the New River to the Woodberry Wetlands reservoir. The heat and sunshine brought out several species of butterfly including Speckled wood, Comma, Gatekeeper, Peacock and Green-veined Whites. We also spotted various Damsel, Demoiselle and Dragonflies along the New River. The highlight of the birdwatch was a female tufted duck with nine ducklings all vying to stand on a small, floating log, which to our amusement, periodically rolled over depositing them back in the water. The reservoir was quiet apart from the usual gulls, geese and coots, however, we did catch a tantalising snatch of the metallic call of a Reed Bunting before retiring to the café.

Photographs © Jon Raper

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