Well after all the westerly winds we finally managed a trans-atlantic vagrant…ish. Jeff Barker and Dave Ware managed to find 3 female and 1 male wood duck on Watton NR on Wednesday morning. Certainly they are a very common escape and feral breeder, but genuine vagrants have been known to reach the UK. The consensus is that ‘someone left the cage door open’ as there is no way of proving them any other way.
Other than that the curlew sandpipers, osprey and black necked grebe all seem to have gone on their way – the latter presumably completing its moult and heading on. This group of pintail are new arrivals however – Jeff finding 5 on D res on Sunday and Frank and Jack re-finding two of them today on North Lagoon:
A trickle of waders continues with green sandpiper on Friday, 3 ruff on Saturday (pictured:) and three black tailed godwit on Sunday.
A late reed warbler was still on South Marsh West on Friday, chiffchaff still singing and a blackcap was gorging itself on elderberries today. Again lots of fly over passerines including more siskin and redpoll – a few stopping to feed on the alder cones.
Little egret has made a return to site with Tony managing one at Watton pictured on his blog and still present today.
Marsh harrier, hobby and buzzard have all been drifting through. And the kestrels - likely brethren of this bird pictured on East Scrub, have been having a whale of a time catching rodents on the newly cleared Hempholme meadows.
Martin continues his gull vigils – turning up another 4 med gulls on Sunday, and this afternoon saw a lot of great black-backed gulls arriving.
On Sunday afternoon (the 2nd) between 1 and 3pm local mycologist Mervin Nethercoat will be leading our annual fungi walk to look for some of the 250+ species now recorded. The event is strictly book in advance on 01377 270690 and is well recommended - free with normal admission.
Saturday morning also sees the monthly reserve walk at 10am taking in the best of the current widlife sights.
The strong southerlies originating in Eastern Europe forecast this week should liven things up all round – so after a quiet September I expect the next few days will see a fall of interesting birds both at Tophill and at other local reserves.