Yes its that time of year when those perplexing pipits start to winter on site, of course I mean those pesky water pipits! Never an easy species to get to grips with unless you are driving the Softrak reedcutting when you get amazing views, they are just one of those species many people often struggle with. But we do have a few on site at the moment so check your pipits especially on any cut vegetation around the lagoons, this one was at Singleton lagoon yesterday.

Water pipit on floating vegetation

Birds of prey are certainly giving a bit of good entertainment at the moment what with the hen harrier coming into roost, plenty of marsh harriers, buzzards, sparrowhawks, and barn owls at dusk. Interesting that there was a lot of hissing coming from the Marshland barn owl box last night making me possibly think that there are chicks in it! Certainly not impossible as there are chicks still in another box near the reserve and barn owls can breed in just about any month if the voles are aplenty and the weather kind.

Marsh harrier

With all the lovely wet stuff around at the moment its certainly suiting the duck, particularly nice has been the immature scaup that thank to some better photo's is looking like it could be a young male (see the vermaculations on the back). Teal numbers are building too with 1000 last night - lets hope the green winged teal that was at Reads Island works its way up the estuary but then as the teal moult out there could be another one lurking.

Scaup at Marshland

Always good to get to the 1000 teal mark on site - Ousefleet seasonal pool is always a firm favourite for the teal

There has also been good numbers of shoveler, gadwall and at last a few more wigeon enjoying the grass in front of the hides, although we do cut the vegetation so that visitors can have better views we do also mow it to provide food for our wintering wigeon, growing grass tips have a lot of sugar content that make for high energy food for this lovely once very much coastal duck. We mow the best we can to ensure its just nice for them to graze into the winter.

Shoveler on Marshland

Wigeon grazing the lush grass growth

Still numbers of pink-footed geese going over site and the odd small party of whooper swans, passage of the whoopers may pick up as the winds are going a bit more North Westerly soon.

Not huge amounts of waders but interesting to see a wintering green sandpiper back on Xerox lagoon the other morning, also up to five black-tailed godwits, a few ruff, varying numbers of snipe, redshank, lapwing, curlew, golden plover and lapwing make up the bulk of the birds.

Golden plover

As said the water pipits are back to listen out for their distinctive whist-whist call and scan any bits of cut vegetation around the lagoons, bearded tits were yesterday irrupting in great numbers, plenty of stonechats (at least 10+) around the lagoons, and tree sparrows feeding on the feeders. Cettis warblers are singing well and at times showing for those patient enough to see if they appear. 

Beardies

Visible migration has picked up in the last couple of days with the first redpolls and brambling passing over, numbers of siskin, reed buntings, greenfinch, yellowhammers, bullfinch, redwing, a few fieldfare, chaffinch, and goldcrest while the only summer migrants are a few tardy chiffchaff and of course some of these may even be wintering birds now. No records of swallows now since last week, summer has gone..........

Female reed bunting gritting

I'll finish with a few Autumnal pictures

Koniks grazing in front of Ousefleet

 

Hawthorn laden with berries

A mellow misty morning today

And a bright sunrise earlier in the week

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