Sunday, 21 September 2014

Watton - no road?

Worth bearing in mind this week that the road to Tophill will be closed every week day for widening - the reserve is still accessible but you need to take the road from Cranswick (off the main road near the farm shop and over the railway crossing past the Spar shop).  A pleasant enough run which is good for little egret and if you're lucky little owl:
Long journeys abound as outgoing have been many summer migrants.  Reed warbler was still singing on South Marsh West on Thursday and a young cuckoo was seen at North Marsh yesterday.  Already moving were three grey plover which is a good record for Tophill yesterday along with many finches and pipits through the week.   

Just moving about are jays - three seen on North Scrub with ten magpies on North Marsh yesterday.  Common scoter strayed inland in the mists yesterday with these four found by Martin on O res:

Despite a murky and dismal day the results were very impressive with a muggy and close night for the time of year giving excellent moth trap results with three site firsts.  No doubt an update to follow on Martin's blog.  Perhaps too of Caspian gull which was present on D, along with the usual Mediterranean.  Four ruff were present on South Marsh East where green and common sandpiper still persist with lesser numbers of snipe.

Perhaps bird of the moment is hobby - as usual good numbers in September predating migrant hawkers and yielding some nice views of late; expect them for the next 9 days on previous form.  Lots of marsh harriers also moving through the site at present.

A chill of winter in the air though as the first brambling was logged over the car park, and the first 7 pink footed geese of winter were on Watton on Tuesday.

Elusive and skulking were not the water rail but the belted galloways; two new bullocks outwitted two of our of volunteers stockman for several hours in South Scrub on Friday!

Lots of good work as ever - here managing willow encroachment on reed beds at the back of South Marsh West to benefit greater water parsnip and reed bed bird species: