In the evening I headed up towards the Lielupe River area, it was still pretty hot at 5pm but at least there was a little more action up that way. First off I had a couple of Common Redstarts at the edge of a garden just before the whole area opens out into meadow. I hung around for a better view and had a single Pied Flycatcher and a Spotted Fly in the same tree. After that I walked along a narrow path that looked good for Wryneck but all I could dig out was a White Wagtail (Latvia's national bird though).
|Juvenile White Wagtail, Lielupe, Jurmala, Latvia - 4th August 2013|
As I walked I came across a small pool that was full of several very fat looking frogs. I've no idea what species they are but they're the second biggest frogs I've ever seen (the biggest being bull frogs in Namibia a few years ago).
|Amphibian species of some kind - a big one at that!|
Further along the meadow trail the Whinchats were still present as were several Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings. I reached the end of the trail just by the edge of the river and noticed that a group of about ten small Terns had joined the Gulls hawking insects. I'm not too good on telling marsh terns apart outside of the breeding season but I'm certain these were a mix of adult and juvenile Black Terns. All three occur in Latvia although Whiskered is the least common. They were a bugger to photograph though so this record shot is the best of my efforts.
|Black Tern - Lielupe River, Jurmala, Latvia - 4th August 2013|
It was nearly seven o'clock by now and time for dinner, I began my walk back but stopped briefly to take a photo of this Hooded Crow as it perched on a sorry looking goalpost. I have to say after over six months in the UK, it was nice to see a Hooded Crow again, obviously they're all over Ireland and you get used to them, but I think they're a handsome bird. In fact, I might even miss them a bit!
|Hooded Crow - Lielupe River, Jurmala, Latvia - 4th August 2013|
|Male Red-backed Shrike scolds a local cat.|
|Juvenile Barred Warbler - Lielupe River, Jurmala, Latvia - 5th August 2013|
While I watched them a small Acro decided I was too close and popped up for a better look, scolding me as it did so. At first I thought Reed Warbler because it was quite buffy, but on closer inspection of the shots I took, its head-shape and bill size don't seem right for Reed. The bill looks too stubby, the head rounder and the overall facial expression slightly softer and 'kinder' if you know what I mean. I couldn't really see enough detail on the tertials or the length of the primary projection to really tell. I will say though, that in June and July, Marsh Warblers are by far the commonest Acro in this area so I rather fancy this is a juvenile Marsh. It also gave a softer 'tick' call (like a Lesser 'throat) than I've heard from Reed. Answers on a postcard!
|Juvenile Marsh Warbler - I think??|
|Pied Flycatcher - Lielupe River, Jurmala, Latvia - 5th August 2013|
|Juvenile Red-backed Shrike - Lielupe River, Jurmala, Latvia - 5th August 2013|
|Great Reed Warbler - Lielupe River, Jurmala, Latvia - 5th August 2013|
With that I called it a day. Like I say, this place keeps turning up surprises, like Black Tern and Barred Warbler. Who knows what else is lurking!