Group 1 – The day started with leaden skies and ended in a prolonged rainstorm at the Amwell Quarry reserve in Hertfordshire. Fortunately this site always offers good sightings and we were not let down as next to the hide Little Ringed Plovers were nesting. During our lengthy stay within the hide, to avoid a soaking, we were able to observe the Plovers’ careful tactics for exchanging egg-sitting duties. A good number of Swifts ranged across the area joined in lesser numbers by House and Sand Martins. There were Oystercatcher and Lapwing, several species of Gull including one Mediterranean, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler. We took a wet walk to the local pub to dry out and refresh.
The following day the group had an opportunity to visit Farnham RSPB site in Surrey for a guided walk to hear Nightjars. On a glorious evening, around sunset, we heard and saw several Nightjars, a Redstart and a Woodcock. Highly recommended!
Group 2 – For the final birdwatch of the summer, the group returned to Walthamstow Wetlands. Thirty species were identified, and highlights of the day were close views of Swifts feeding above the reservoirs, Sand and House Martins, Grey Wagtails, Sparrow hawk and Peregrine Falcon. Perhaps the best moment, however, was spotting seven Shelducklings! The group then met in the very pleasant café to plan their Autumn birdwatches.