Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Spot of the decade

It's been a respectable autumn passage on the southern marshes this year.  It would seem last years 'fallow' rotation has re-invigorated the mud and food available, and combined with a lot of tree clearance by volunteers and new landscaping by contractors has delivered a nice assortment of waders this season.  Undoubted highlight found by Erich on Sunday must undoubtedly be the spotted crake in amongst the islands at the northern end of SME.  The last birds seen were in 2004 when at least two remained until mid September so we hope it'll stay.  Given views are fleeting to say the least - described today as '.75 of a second at 09:30' and 'a nanosecond at 11.00' its hardly surprising that we have no picture as yet - therefore here is one of Martin Hodges of a 2004 bird:
It has somewhat put the wood sandpiper into the shade that turned up on the 16th and stayed the next day also:
Green sandpipers are relatively common place with sightings daily peaking out so far at 8 on the evening of the 16th.
Common sandpipers have been regular also with daily reports of two.  The weedboom at Hempholme weir is a good place at the moment and held every wagtail sp, last Friday:
Thanks to Brian Colley for these:
2 greenshank dropped in on the 15th Aug.
2 whimbrel were on south marsh west on the 28th July, 1 on the 1st Aug, 2 on the 4th,
A lone ruff on Watton NR on the 7th of Aug, and SME on the 18th.
2 black tailed godwit on the 30th July, 2 on the 7th Aug,
Dunlin on the 17th and 18th on SME.
Little ringed plover appeared on the 5th of Aug but alas not one of our young.
Ringed plover on the 12th Aug.
Lapwing in numbers up to 20 regularly - Pete Drury:
Snipe hit a notable 27 on the 2nd Aug with up to 7 daily:
The first redshanks of the autumn on the 19th x 3.
With water rail erratically. 

Some great sightings from SME but you can't have it all ways - Brian Colley snapped this 1 of 2 mink present under the back to back hides two days ago; Get some photos now as it won't be here long!:
Roe deer a more welcome sighting by Adrian Dickinson:
Elsewhere black terns were a nice seasonal item with 2 possibly 3 birds around site on the 12th - with the rare occurrence of a bird over the South Marsh East.
The gull season started for those keen enough on the 17th with the presence of mediterranean gull, yellow legged gull and little gull.

Barn owls are still progressing well with 5 chicks of the 7 now remaining - thanks to Darren Smith for these:
And the buzzards are showy like this one by Adrian Dickinson - lots of hobby reports too:
Kingfishers still a favourite on North Marsh - Trevor Hupton:
And Darren Smith:
But here's catch of the day - one's not sure who's eating who here! Amazing photos of a cormorant attempting to consume a pike on the D reservoir by Adrian Dickinson:
We'll be aiming for smaller beasties in the pond dipping events this weekend - book in advance only on 01377 270690 for family pond dipping events on Sunday and Monday the 24th and 25th of August at 1.30pm.

Hopefully in doing so we wont encounter this creature of the deep!