After a week of heavy grey skies, a strong easterly wind and frequent heavy showers, it was good to get up to blue sky. As we sat outside opening the overnight moth trap, the Autumn evocative and neck-hair raising sound of Pinkfeet took our eyes upwards. A flock of 100+ geese made their way inland to their feeding fields. Not an unusual Autumn/Winter sight, always a welcome one.
After the single figure weekend catch, 48 macro moths of 17 species was proof of a warmer night. A few of them........
No report of our intended target bird, Olive-backed Pipit at Muckleborough Hill, should have braved the weekend crowds. Couldn't see pam agreeing to that, especially after the report of police monitoring the parking in the area. Weynor Gardens must have been chokka.
Maybe Wells Woods would be less busy to-day?
Another much larger flock of Pink-footed Geese flying in four skeins, were seen west of Holt. We spent the journey admiring the colours of Autumn, at their best in the sunshine, Chestnuts clearly visible against the preparing to die foliage. I love the bare outline of winter leafless trees just as much, if not more.
We saw P striding along the top of the sea wall on the beach road - yellow lines all along here.
Half of Wells' car park was unavailable, diggers and many men at work. How much will the parking cost next year? £3 for two hours at the moment. It needed improving, this looks major.
It's been a while since we walked Wells Woods. Although we've seen many good birds here, it's always been hard work. Apart from the breeding Parrot Crossbills many years ago. No sign of the Blyth's Reed Warbler, not seen since early morning, straight on towards the drinking pool, seeing delightful Goldcrests along the way. Not the number seen earlier in the excellent Fall but enough. As a stitch set in and a toilet call became ever more urgent, we reached the first seat. Thank goodness. Far too many people for a bushes call.......
We sat for about half an hour, not giving up walking to the Red-flanked Bluetail site but becoming less motivated as passers by reported 'a glimpse' after standing for some time. Amongst them were several people we know as reliable witnesses. A pair of Goldcrests flew into the Birch behind us, only three feet from Pam's head. By the time I'd got my bridge camera ready, several large-lens wielding men had the same idea. The birds flew to the back of the tree, I zoomed the lens up, pointed the camera in the general direction (I hoped, couldn't see anything in the viewfinder) and got this one greatly enlarged and cropped photo. I was amazed to find anything when I downloaded. Pam has a lovely head pic.
Time to return via a chat with Carl C who'd spent an hour and a half looking for the Blyth's, without success.
Still Pallas's Warbler, Hume's Yellow-browed and an Olive-backed Pipit in the woods, seen by a few hard working birders. Fieldfares and Redwings were regular fly throughs.
A very enjoyable session. Just good to be out.