Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Saturday and Sunday 5th and 6th October

Great White Egret Saturday morning (c) Oz

Whinchat at the first screen (c) Tezzer

Ubiquitous Kestrels (c) Andy Last

Great White again (c) Darrell Wood

Chiffy (c) Bark

Confiding Hare (c) Bark

Commas and Blackberries (c) Bark

Michaelmas Daisies (c) Bark
 Back from my travels, I could not have hoped for a finer weekend on the moor. Early mist lifted to warm, golden October sunshine and the colours glowed in the hedgerows, while Michaelmas daisies made bright splashes of white, pink and purple along the edge of the reedbeds. There were plenty of good things to see on the bird front as well.
A Great White Egret found earlier in the week was still present on Saturday and showing well at times although it has not been reported since. Three Bearded Tits appeared in front of the first screen on Sunday. One of them was a male and may be one of the juveniles that has moulted into adult plumage, rather than a new individual. Three Stonechats could be seen along the path south of the hide along with a Whinchat. Other Whinchats were in the reedbed and the oaks beside the first screen. A Wheatear was found at the Noke end. Golden Plover were seen flying over and a real portent of winter were a party of seven Redwings, the first of this autumn.
Kestrels are currently the default raptor and there are at least four different individuals hunting over the fields. On Sunday morning as it warmed up at one point we could see at least seven Buzzards soaring over Greenaways and the reedbeds. A Garganey was on the southern lagoon with Teal on Friday.
Lizards can still be found basking by the first screen but I presume that they will soon start to hibernate once the weather changes and it gets colder. A northerly airflow is predicted for later this week along with much lower temperatures, perhaps the northerlies will bring some of our other familiar winter visitors, conditions all over the reserve this year look really good for Hen Harriers and Short Eared Owls.

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