Afternoon visit to Fowlmere

I was at Fowlmere yesterday (Saturday) from 3pm to 6.30pm, so thankfully I was too early for most of the mosquitos. I was mainly looking for butterflies and dragonflies /damselflies. 11 species of butterfly recorded, including two holly blues (second generation). Small skipper had been reported earlier, but I saw only large skippers. 8 species of dragon/damselflies, all the usual suspects.

Lots of birds about despite the heat; 37 species noted. A narrow strip of mud is developing by the mere, wide enough for a post-breeding flock of lapwings. I counted 114, but the nearest section of mud is hidden behind the reeds, so there were probably more. There is sufficient mud to attract migrating waders; a dunlin had been seen a day or two before (I didn't note the date). There were also at least 9 yellow wagtails feeding and bathing (the single dead tree by the mere is a good perch for them), plus 2 corn buntings came down to drink. The mere also attracted some hirundines - several swallows and two each of house and sand martins - and a juvenile black-headed gull.

Half a dozen swifts were feeding over the reedbed, where a few reed warblers were singing, plus a single sedge warbler near the wooden boardwalk. I also heard 2 Cetti's warblers, one by Reedbed Hide and another by the chalk stream. A kingfisher flew over the reedbed but didn't settle. 

I saw only one mammal - a stoat that ran towards me on the trail until it got close enough to identify me as a potential threat.