Monday, 1 October 2012

Bats on the Patch, and the Pipe Dump.

Enjoyed an excellent Bat walk led by Matt from Strumpshaw RSPB. The small group had amazing views of Noctules over the Yare, what impressive beasties they are. It has been a long time since I actually watched this species, and at first I thought I had seen a Snipe, such is their size and manoeuvrability. We continued round the trail, Soprano and Common Pipistrelle feeding and seemingly chasing one another above our heads. Brown Long-eared in there too, and I am fairly sure I picked up a Natterers with the detector around an hour after dark. Plenty of mixed woodland around, which would suit this species. Desperate to know more- the thought of missing out on a parti-coloured or Barbastelle genuinely frightens me! Looking forward to becoming more involved on a local level next year.

On Sunday I went in search of migrants, a walk down to the much abused Pipe Dump at Waxham. Very few Passerines anywhere despite much bush bashing. Of note though were 100s of House Martins hawking over the dunes, along with smaller numbers of the larger Barn Swallow. Deciding after a couple of hours to give up on the bushes, I walked back alongside the sea and set about grilling the ocean. Winds not ideal, but stunning views of Gannets fishing in close. Red-throated Divers and Guillemots also loafing close to the shore line. I did pick up a couple of decent birds: a single Black Tern closely followed up by a Little Gull. I continued onto Happisburgh, Bacton and Walcott. I have decided Walcott could potentially offer the best sea watching, taking into account vistas, distance from sea, local food and drink on offer when on a break etc. More of the same at these east coast haunts.

Worthy of a mention, always, were my first Pink-footed Geese of the Autumn, over Waxham. Group of 23 followed by 50+, a sign of colder, bleaker times ahead.

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