Sunday, 5 October 2014

October Round-up - So Far

October 1-3

The first was occupied by Coffee morning and a flu jab. The latter made us feel sprightly in comparison with the others lined up. Worth going for that ! 
The 2nd started with moth trap opening at Cley, followed by coffee and a scone with Aileen  and Bridget on A's 80th birthday. She looked well.
In between we registered Ruff, Marsh Harrier, Wigeon and Golden Plover on and over the marsh. We had a quick look at the west bank marsh in search of Stonechat and  the Eye Field, before driving home. 
At least one Marsh Tit and Coal Tit are  regular vocal visitors to the garden bird feeders at the moment. Tawny Owls are calling from the wood - in daylight - and the sound of rutting Red Deer is not infrequent. We often hear Chinese Water Deer and Muntjac, this is the first year the Red have been close enough to hear. A few House Martins are still present, for how long I wonder.
Autumn moths are making an appearance in our garden trap. Yellow Underwings are disappearing, Beaded Chestnut and Lunar Underwings have increased. The beautiful Merveille du Jour and Dusky Thorn are beginning to appear

Merveille du Jour

Dusky Thorn - wings never flat
We are also still getting second broods of earlier moths such as Yellowtails and Brimstone. I am becoming more aware of the seasonality of moths.

October 3rd

It never seems right doing our 'big day' on anything other than the 1st - this one wasn't. We set off at 6.30 in thick sea mist (haar) which didn't clear until we were well past Holt. It was a lovely sunny day by valley Farm Lane, it was almost as though there had been an invisible wall. One side haar, the other, blue sky and sun. No Tree Sparrows nor Little Owl to-day. Nor was there anything to add - apart from Coot - at Abbey Farm. The water there has diminished to two small pools again, the spring is low after a very dry September.
As we drove west, the haar descended again. That made viewing at Snettisham, in addition to the tide at its nadir, very frustrating. I got cross with the couple in a car which sped past us on the way in, we found them parked at the first hide. They got out, not a binocular between them, carrying a plastic container, proceeding to pick blackberries. I was all for asking them if they had a permit but Pam persuaded me not to !
Waders included a beached flock of Golden Plover, a scattering of Grey Plover, several still in their black aprons, Numerous Redshank, Curlew and Dunlin, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, 1 little Stint and Black-tailed Godwits. The Knot were scattered about, the large flocks were probably on the shore. This Little Egret fed along the inshore pit, water gleaming silver behind it, disappointingly, the photo doesn't do it justice.

 As we left, the sun broke through and we had a glorious day. The blackberries at the gate entrance were large, sweet and delicious. Pam nearly drove off without me, waiting the other side of the gate for me to close it. That's what she said anyway. I can't even take some back for her as she dislikes them - then she enjoyed Blackberry and Apple Crumble at the caravan with M and K yesterday (hm......).
No Fulmar at Hunstanton, about 20 Common Scoter flew past.
Seeing Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel in five minutes at Holme was notable. One Greenshank and a lone Avocet amongst the Mallard and Wigeon on the Broadwater.
Not a good day species wise and one lacking in 'hwyl' for both of us. Which came first? Enjoyable though, really good to be out.
Empty creeks apart from Curlew, at Thornham. 

Not even any Brent on the marsh. (We saw a regular procession of them flying past the Dunwich caravan, which has spectacular sea views, on Saturday.  A vismig experience). 

'Cos I fancied it, I tried some shots of a soaring Marsh Harrier. 

A walk at Cley was also declined, the day did not reach 70 species and did not include Great Tit, amongst many other 'misses'. And... the ice-cream van wasn't at Salthouse.

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