For sometime now, I've been wanting to visit Hatfield Forest and (RSPB) Rye Meads. So Pete kindly volunteered to show me around what is his local area.
Started off in brilliant sunshine and warmth to explore Hatfield Forest. This is a place I liked very much - very old trees and great places to walk. Had a wander around the lake and the highlight was two "families" of Great Crested Grebes. Definitely a pair with one young and, what seemed to be, a single parent, again, with one young.
I'd left home rather early and hadn't had brekkie, so we stopped at the visitor centre for Brunch. Wonderful "Pig in a poke" which consisted of two great sausages with salad "bits" in a bap with a welcome cuppa. Good food! And, especially welcome as the sun had entirely disappeared to be replaced by very black clouds and a cool wind. By now (having left my "long sleeves" in the car), I was getting a tad chilly. So we wandered on passing, en route, a flock (approx 15ish) of juvenile and adult Goldfinches
A buddleia, now in the sunshine, played host to a few Peacock and Red Admiral butterflies - not to mention several bees. Very lively spot!
Further around and on the way back, we came across several fungi. However, they had been subject to being knocked about a bit, but some were reasonably complete.
From Hatfield, having stopped to buy a lunchtime sandwich, we headed off for Rye Meads.
Now this was RSPB with a difference. Firstly, and surprisingly, there was no entrance charge. Plenty of places to walk and what I liked was the very "natural" nature of the reserve. Apart from the good paths and hides, nothing much had been done to "tart up" the reserve which, in many ways, was a welcome change. It was quite quiet in terms of birds and, thankfully, too many people. In the first hide a young lad was trying to describe to his Mum where exactly he'd seen the Kingfisher. Good to see one so young very interested and wanting to share his excitement.
Not a great deal about although we had seen three Green Sandpipers on one spot, only to see another two later on. Great!!
As we entered one hide the departing people advised that a Kingfisher had just been perching. "Oh great", thought I "this is typical. I enter hide/area to hear - oh - a kingfisher has just left"!
However today I was in luck. I managed to spot a Kingfisher on a post in front of the hide but some distance away. This then moved further up and we adjourned to a nearer hide where - whey hey - we had a good sighting. Just record shots but at least it was a Kingfisher.
(My "target" is the get a really fantastic shot of a Kingfisher!)
We (technically) left the RSPB area of Rye Meads and walked along the River Lea and eventually back to the car park.
Spotted a few "dragons"; two of which were having an aerial flight - too fast for any sort of picture though.
A really good and satisfying day in great company - thanks Pete :D
Young and adult Great-crested Grebe
which "posed" so beautfifully on the wall...
Rather large piece of fungus
Four young cygnets having a preen
and "my" Kingfisher - I'm so pleased to have seen it..
Cormorants drying their wings
A cricket or grasshopper - can't ID this one, but if anyone can?.....
again with this moth - any ideas?
and, finally, a Common Darter I believe?
7 hours ago