Monday 8 October 2018

Two walks

The weather wasn't suitable for ringing at the weekend, which is probably just as well as the bushes seemed to be devoid of birds. It looks as though there might be a hint of an easterly wind by Sunday.

So on both Saturday and Sunday I walked the full length of the patch.

On Saturday there were some signs of autum. Skylarks were almost constantly overhead and when I checked the plantation I found coal tits and goldcrests - both autumn species on the patch and in the dunes to the north there were five or six dunnocks with at least ten reed buntings feeding in the weedy patches.
Coal Tit
Coal Tit
 A single whooper swan flew north as I headed for  the beach and my return to the car. Offshore,  a black-throated diver flew north, quite close in, close enough for photos. There were a few red-breasted merganser close in shore and this guillemot was very close, even for a photo. I think this is the first guillie I've photographed on the patch.

On Sunday I did the same route but in the afternoon, once the rain had cleared, and as a result it felt quieter than Saturday. As I walked north I heard the 'yick-yick' of a great-spotted woodpecker, it was flying over the dunes from the sea as soon as it cleared the dunes, it dived straight into the nearest bushes out of sight and probably to rest, as it is highly likely it had just crossed the North Sea from Scandinavia.

On reaching the dunes at the north of the patch, where the reed buntings were still feeding in the weedy bits, I headed for the beach, which was empty  - of birds and people until I got to the southern end where this common gull was on it's own and a single carrion crow was mooching about.

Common Gull

Carrion Crow
Offshore,  I got onto a raptor high and quite far out, maybe 300 meters or more, it was a peregine and was just circling - someone suggested it could have chased a bird out to sea and it was waiting to pounce when the bird returned to land.

Magpie - Another species I don't often photograph

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