Lade - 0730hrs - mild, cloudy, ne 4 - A brisk overnight wind made for a poor return in the garden moth trap, which wasn`t helped by getting up late and a Great Tit taking full advantage...
Several Chiffchaffs hereabouts this morning plus a few Mipits and Goldfinches over and a Stonechat on the shingle scrub. Checked the willow swamp for warblers but could only muster up a few more Chiffs and a Blackcap.
RSPB - 1100hrs - A Wildlife Walk at the bird reserve with a mixed age group highlighted just what there is hereabouts of a wider natural history interest if you leave the birds to one side for a minute. We kicked off in the car park looking at some typical autumn moths potted earlier at the KRC and then moved on to the mini-beast area. The tin sheets and railway sleepers yielded several voles (Bank or Short-tailed), Common Lizards, Smooth and Crested Newts, while nearby we found a cracking Great Green Bush-cricket and a sluggish Common Blue butterfly on the wing. Migrant Hawker and Ruddy Darter dragonflies were noted around the car park as well as the mangy old, resident Fox.
As for birds we only had time to check out Burrowes. From Dennis`s hide a large flock of Golden Plovers landed on the shingle near the roosting Black-backs as a Marsh Harrier flew over. On the pit the expected range of wildfowl included Wigeon and Pintail, plus Little and Great White Egrets, Black-necked and Little Grebes, Dunlin, Blackwit and a Pectoral Sandpiper in front of Makepeace hide, while Chiffchaffs, Robins and Long-tailed Tits called from the willow scrub.
When there`s a nipper in the group it always reminds me how rubbish my eye sight is. One young lad enthusiastically called out stuff way before any of us oldies - oh, the joys of youth.
So there we go, a very enjoyable couple of hours all round really, with the Bush-cricket the undoubted highlight.