Autumnal Island Trip

It doesn't seem five minutes since we were over on the Summer visit, but this last weekend saw a trip entitled Autumn on Havergate.  It was a bit of a mixed bag weatherwise, though we didn't get that wet, managing to dodge the odd shower.  There was plenty of birdlife out in the water, though the Spoonies (28 of them was the highest count we reached) were being a little bit twitchy, lifting every time something vaguely raptor shape came past

Though they did settle - and promptly fell asleep!

Even Lyndsey the warden had a go - snaffling the camera for a few shots - great timing with this one, it looks like the Spoonie was unimpressed with the local gulls!

Lyndsey also spotted a small island where the Sandwich Terns had taken up residence

We knew there were still loads around as they kept fishing in the river

Redshanks and Oystercatchers were all over the place - Redshanks in particular seemed to be especially numerous

Most of the gulls have finally left, there were only a few juveniles and adults dotted round the islands.  Black Headed gulls have lost the breeding plumage too

Once you started scanning further out of course, all sorts of little gems showed up.  There were plenty of Dunlin, a handful of Black and Bar Tailed Godwits, a Grey Plover, Knot and even a Whimbrel put in an appearance

We didn't spot the Short Eared Owl that we heard had been around during the week, but Kestrels were hunting well (presumably the family that were raised on the Island this year).  At least it wasn't a bum shot like the last visit!

Other raptors were about too - we even had a high level flyover by an Osprey.  I was too slow to get anything remotely useful for a pic, though I did catch this Marsh Harrier which had us fooled for a bit, it is so pale

We were all excited by the next visitor though - especially when it sat out on the islands.  Could have done with being a bit closer - we're never happy us photographers - but what a treat!

Not seen a Peregrine sat still like this before :-)

We finally decided it was time to wander down to say hello to the Hares, but this little chap outside the hide caught Mrs WJ's attention

As always, the Hares were very accommodating, whether sitting in the sun

Lounging in the shade

Or having a good ol' scratch

But it's important not to concentrate too much on the Hares - turn round to check the river and this is what you see!

A tasty snack it looks too....

Finally, back to the boat for the trip back to Orford.  Now the tide had dropped and exposed lots of mud, there were more birds on the banks.  Avocets (there were gazillions all over the island actually)

along with Curlew

Which was handy after seeing the Whimbrel earlier - useful to be able to show both species in one thread!

And a final flypast by a Black Tailed Godwit before we left the island behind and headed off to tea & cake on the quay

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  • Joined the group just to say thanks for those photos WJ, superb, and what a variety, diving tern has to one of my favourites, and of course the Hare - Whimbrel, Kestrel, Peregrine, Marsh Harrier!!!!  Your camera must have been red hot.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    Fantastic, especially the young peregrine.  Limpy will be spectacularly green when he sees these!

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.