Wednesday, 28 October 2015

home and away

Monday's stroll around Roswell Pits revealed Autumn in action. The leaves are turning and with the changing season the birds are changing too. Out on the water, the grebes have attained frosty winter plumage, while on the hawthorn covered banks the resident tits glean insects hidden in the foliage. For some time now the wood has been alive with the sharp calls of Song thrushes and Redwings, and they are harried by the more bullish Blackbirds at every turn. Down by Cuckoo Bridge the reeds stirred, and a Bittern crept into deeper cover. Redpolls and Siskins blew in but soon carried on.
Tuesday began with an all pervading mist, one that on the coast often brings flocks of thrushes crashing into buckthorn thickets and seaside hedgerows. There were signs of movement at home, with a small gang of Fieldfare restlessly flying up and down Thistle Corner Drove. They eventually found a good supply of hawthorn berries, and chattered as the sky cleared.
Duncan has been on the coast this week and had a good fall of thrushes, and this morning I joined him to see what would come of the last two days of easterly winds. After a misty pink dawn broke the weather unfortunately turned pretty miserable, and we resorted to sitting in the van, overlooking the saltmarsh at Burnham Overy. A Rock Pipit perched up on one of the boats- its colour ring revealing its Norwegian origin.
I left Dunc at Wells and headed west, arriving at Titchwell as the weather began to brighten. As always the freshmarsh was alive with birds, but it wasn't until I reached the beach that the sun began to shine with golden fervour, a fiery gold to greet the passing of the day. The sand suddenly seemed to be made of tempered bronze, and the waders on the shore glowed as they retreated from the oncoming tide. The freshmarsh was filling with roosting gulls and waders as I made my way back along the path. 

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