Thursday, 15 October 2015

reeding between the lines

Whilst there are masses of birds coming in from the continent including plenty of exotic ones it is perhaps the more common that are providing the current spectacle.  Line up on the lines of Watton Carrs are the many starlings roosting on the South Marsh West at the moment:
We said earlier that we weren't going to mow the reedbed island this year and certainly the starlings appreciate it as a home.  Roy Vincent captured this magnificent film:
You may catch near the end one of two sparrowhawks present hoping to predate the birds (one being sat on the hide roof).  Water rails are vocal too as their peace and quiet is invaded.  Absent in this is the bittern which has been seen a couple of times in the last week; I have seen the bittern previously drop in beforehand - likely hoping to snaffle a starling as they are capable of eating sizeable birds and mammals like water voles.  A young male marsh harrier is also a near permanent fixture on South Marsh East at the moment regularly sat on a post at the back.   We cant get it right all the time as we recently mowed the islands of North Marsh to remove willows and rank vegetation (and open the areas lost to kingfishers and water voles again). However we had claims that the previously active water rails had abandoned the new more open vista.  Fortunately not long after Michael Flowers and his birdwatching group snapped these pictures of rails again active:
Michael's new 2016 East Yorkshire Wildlife calendars are out now and available in the Wardens base.  Likewise Tony Robinson:
Whilst migrant hawkers were still on the go today and two great white egrets were seen on Sunday morning there are plenty of autumnal scenes - woody nightshade berries glisten in the woods:
The prince - Tony Robinson:
And hay meadows disappearing (in this case to Standingholme meadows next door to Hempholme Meadow as green hay to seed and enrich some of JSR's stewardship fields:
Barred Sallow by Doug Fairweather equally seasonal:
And beaded chestnut:
Robin - perhaps one of the many migrants coming in by Tony Robinson:
And a polish ringed Mediterranean gull confidingly sat on O res wall - snapped and researched by Erich Hediger - more details here:
Otherwise other notable sightings have included geese; Amongst 670 greylags and 270 Canada's were a 1st winter tundra bean goose on Watton NR on Saturday 10th with two pink feet, A lone whooper swan on the 11th on D res, barnacle goose on the 12th.  All the above geese converged again on the 13th together when a further 55 pink feet went overhead.  Siskin have been present around the lagoons for a few days - Andy Marshall: