Wheatfen was looking splendid on the 31st, so splendid in fact that the foilage shielded from view the Siskin and Redpoll I could hear. 6 Snipe were seen flying strongly southwards, and a bustling Tit flock held Long-tailed, Marsh, Great, Blue and a Goldcrest. I really thought I was into a Firecrest for a short time, and surely this is a species I will add to the wider patch list before long?
A scan over Claxton Marshes late afternoon did not produce a Short-eared Owl as I had hoped it might, but across the river I could see a group of Barnacle Geese grazing. 'Seen from the patch'= tick! I finished the day at Langley dyke, where 3 ghostly Barn Owls were hunting.
On the 1st of November, Debs, her dad and I took a walk round Bacton Woods chasing up the Parrot Crossbill reports from earlier in the week. We did see a flock of c.20 Crossbill, but no confirmed Parrots in there. We did enjoy a lovely Autumnal walk though, and over the Winter months we could easily tie this in with a visit to Ridlington Heath which looks promising after a drive through. One stubble field was brimming with Chaffinch, proper Winter birding! Pine Bunting would be nice.
We finished the day at Ludham for our first Raptor roost watch of the Winter. We only managed 2 Marsh Harriers and 1 Barn Owl so perhaps we were a little early in the season. 2 Bats were seen circling farm buildings on the way home, a sign that the weather was mild and had not yet turned. Maybe these were the last Bats we would see this year?
Yesterday, I made an early start and grilled Happisburgh. The mist soon cleared to reveal a mild and pleasant day. My hope was that a slight shift in the winds and rain overnight may have let some birds through. Birds of the day were undoubtedly 9 Twite at the coastwatch, accompanied by lots of Meadow Pipits and 2 Reed Buntings. In fact, this was the busiest birding of the day! Despite the miles covered, and a return to the RF Bluetail site, there was little else doing. Is that it for Autumn then? With the westerlies set to persist, the expected arrival of Thrushes from the continent will have to be postponed. Perhaps mid-November and the Autumn will have a final flourish?
Evening at Church Marsh, a view I never tire of.
Storm damage near the landspring at Church Marsh
Couple of Fungi shots from Debs
Twite at Happisburgh