A good group of 32 people met at Riverside Country Park for our first Tuesday morning walk of the “summer” season. Expectations were high that we would find birds on migration and, although the weather kept the birds rather subdued, we managed to find some. This male whitethroat was the first of the season for many of us – I just wish that I had seen the bird as well as Steve’s photograph shows it! Chiffchaff and lesser whitethroats were seen or heard but the nightingales were rather elusive. One bird was singing on the East Meadows but there was silence near Bloors Wharf.
Along the shore there were many distant black tailed godwits (after most people had left Terry found one close enough to photograph) – they look really special in their full breeding plumage. A small group of 5 whimbrel and a greenshank were fortunately a bit closer and everyone managed to see them well. All of these waders are moving northward to their breeding grounds. Two swallows raced through – they do seem to be very late and few in number this spring.
The highlight of the morning was provided for us by Trevor who had gone ahead to find adders. He surpassed himself by finding 2 males and one female. The two males (left) were “dancing” – apparently this is a form of combat as they try to push each other over. And the prize? Later we found the winner mating with the female (larger and darker in the photograph below). It was worth going on this walk just to see the adders!
Thanks to everyone that came along. It was good to see new people – we hope that you enjoyed the walk and some of the sights and sounds. Thanks to Steve and Terry for the photographs and special thanks to Trevor.