Monday, 15 October 2012

Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th October

Confiding Wren (c) Bark

Again ! (c) Bark

Hare (c) Bark

Hare (c) Bark

Autumn colour in an insect (c) Bark

Muntjac on Greenaways (c) Bark

Ice and Fire (c) Bark

Fox (c) Mike Kosniowski

Teal coming out of eclipse (c) Mike Kosniowski

Stonechat (c) Terry Sherlock

Courting Gadwall (c) Terry Sherlock
It was the perfect autumn weekend still, calm and bright with low sunlight that accentuated the rich colours in the turning leaves. It was quieter on the bird front but patient observation provided some memorable moments and some great photo opportunities.
Stonechats are now well established at Noke, along the path to the first screen and out at the Pill. New this weekend was a party of five juveniles in the hedge between the first and second screens. This is proving to be a good area to see small passerines. In the space of a quarter of an hour, while standing by the bend that goes off to the second screen we saw a small party of Redpolls,Robins,Tits, a Blackcap, Wrens, Bullfinches and Goldcrests. There are several small parties of Redpolls on the reserve but as yet they have not found the niger feeders as they did last year. There were also a pair of flyover Siskins on Saturday morning.
Kingfishers have continued regularly to use the perches in front of the first screen, much to the delight of photographers.
Although we did not see the Bittern this weekend there was a reliable sighting of it from the first screen on Sunday at around five pm. Several parties of Redwings were seen but as yet no Fieldfares.
I was down on the moor very early on Saturday morning and saw more than a thousand Starlings coming out of the roost on the reedbed. They flew around in a tight group for a while before dispersing in different directions. I would be interested to hear if anyone has seen them going to roost in the evening and whether they are displaying their spectacular pre roost flocking.
Several large flocks of Lapwings were seen and were often flushed from the far lagoon area on Ashgrave, usually by Buzzards and Kites.
Teal are coming out of eclipse plumage now and can be seen displaying to each other and splashing vigorously at the far end of the first lagoon. Gadwall are also doing their courtship flights, usually with three or four males pursuing a single female.
A Peregrine passed directly over the reedbed on Sunday and as usual Ravens were present on both days.
Hares are again very noticeable and two of them came particularly close on Sunday. A small herd of Roe deer seem to have taken up residence in the fields to the west of the path to the second screen and a Muntjac gave very close views as it crossed Greenaways on Sunday. Several foxes were seen but sadly no sign of the Otter this week.
I look forward to seeing fieldfares next weekend.

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