The time of famine is nearly over, August starts on Thursday and while it might not kick off straight away the anticipation is mounting. Even Jono has been tempted out, and of course he scored almost immediately with the first Common Sandpiper on Alex this year, shortly afterwards flushed by a doggie. It's a start.
With school over Dan has been on the flats early doors; his reward a Tawny Owl calling a couple of times, but he's off to Shetland and Fair Isle for a few weeks so he'll, hopefully, be knee deep in the good stuff before long.
For my part, I had a fresh looking Reed Warbler in the Old Sewage Works by the Roding, doing a bit of sub-song and taking a keen interest in what I was doing. So while things are few and far between at the moment the moment is just about now.
Here's the itinerary for the next few weeks:
Snipe: on the 1st in 2011
Spotted Flycatcher: last year 2nd (9th in 2011)
Crossbill: last year on the 2nd (already noted)
Wheatear: first on the 5th (2011) and last year on the 7th
Common Redstart: a female in the Alex scrub last year on the 11th, 19th the year before
Yellow Wagtail: 12th August 2011, 18th 2012
Green Sandpiper: 12th August 2012
Tree Pipit: 13th August 2012, and 24th the year before
Whinchat: 15th August 2011, and a day later last year on the 16th
Yellow-legged Gull: 17th August in 2012, 23rd August in 2011
Pied Flycatcher: 18th August last year, and 21st in 2011
Sedge Warbler: 23rd August in 2011 (last year the 30th of July)
Wryneck: 25th August last year (and September two year's before)
Marsh Harrier: 26th August last year
Grasshopper Warbler: 28th August in 2011
Arctic Tern: 28th in 2011
and in 1980 the last record of Ruff on the patch
Add to all that increasing numbers of Chiffchaff, returning Willow and Garden Warbler and the promise of an Autumn invasion of Two-bar Crossbill (Lee Evans has spoken), and who knows what flying over, popping up, showing well, and briefly before being flushed... to come. June and July can be expunged.