Saturday, 4 October 2014

Autumn arrives and the Red-backed Shrike Lowestoft

After the excitement of the Masked Shrike, migration seems to have slowed down at least locally, and the marshes have started to take on an autumnal feel. The chattering of swallows has gone and been replaced by the sip sip of Meadow Pipits and chirrups of passage Skylarks.
Snipe are almost permanent visitors of the scrape and wetter parts of the marsh but I was delighted to find a Jack Snipe which flushed from my feet at the edge of our scrape, flying languidly just a short distance to drop in to a reed margin, unlike the panicky escape of its larger cousin.
A Whinchat on the 1st October was another surprise find, which popped up out of nowhere on to a gate post as we were leading 3 stubborn rams on halters to new pastures.
Yesterday, I was watching Buzzards soaring over the marshes when I was attracted by a rustle in the reeds next to me. I expected to see a mammal emerge but was surprised when a Reed Warbler appeared in full view, a late record for here.
Today a single Swallow was battling southwards against the rising winds.

The confiding Red-backed Shrike at Ness Point, Lowestoft has been attracting admirers for the last week, and yesterday my husband and I paid it a visit too. It was indeed very approachable. Having made its home in bushes either side of a staff entrance to the Birds Eye complex, it was unconcerned by the comings and goings of humans, and for once there were no problems at all if photographers wanted to get close. After enjoying the Shrike for half an hour I turned my attention to the sea. Conditions were not promising for a seawatch  but there was a steady passage of small groups of Brent Geese, the occasional Red-throated Diver and then a Bonxie heading south, a precursor perhaps of the remarkable 123 counted flying past Ness Point this morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment