Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Harrow Lodge

Having sat through a proper roaring thunderstorm for most of the evening, I took the chance for a quick dash round Harrow Lodge park between rainstorms hoping to catch a few birds that might have been enticed out by the aftermath of the heavy rain before it got dark. I figured there would be plenty of insects and earthworms brought to the surface by rain like that, and after the last week it's just nice to get out without your shirt sticking to your back.

As it turned out, I ended up spending 10 minutes hiding under a tree as I waited for a shower to pass, but even that was quite pleasant. Standing in a small stand of trees, listening to the rain on the leaves and watching the offending cloud passing overhead through the canopy. Simple pleasures.

My theory was nicely justified anyway. Saw plenty of blackbirds stomping round on the grass picking up worms, a pied wag insect catching low to the ground and 5 swifts overhead catching insects on the wing. Thought I head some Long Tailed Tits in a tree along the path, we've had a couple of local families lately, but they were quite well buried in the foliage and I couldn't get a sighting. Also heard an unfamiliar call which sounded like something a Chaffinch might do, but I'll likely never know. I won't lose sleep over it. Slightly disappointed that the regular Chiffchaff wasn't singing from his usual spot - I suppose he might be too busy feeding a family by now.

Stars of the show were a pair of Great Crested Grebes with a young'un on the far side of the main lake. All the way to Lakenheath to see my first young Great Crested, and there's one on my doorstep. Typical. It was hassling its parents for the fish they were catching, and making some pathetic attempts at diving when they refused to give it any. Could have watched them for longer, but it was there that the rain started.

Also saw a great big huddle of Canada Geese under an overhanging tree. Usually they're all over the lake, or they're chaperoning the goslings grazing on the grass. It's unusual for the area, though not for Geese in general. Could be the storms. Only had the phone camera handy, so the brown blobs are Canada Geese.

It's been a while since I did my local patch - too long really. This evening's walk was quite pleasant. Must go more often.

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