Lade - humid, misty, dry, ne 3 - A muggy start to the day that got even more sticky by late morning. With misty conditions, and Mipits settled on rooftops hereabouts, thoughts turned to a good fall of migrants, but it was nothing like a fortnight ago. However, at least 50 Mipits were grounded on the storm beaches, plus similar numbers overhead, along with 100 Linnet, 15 Yellow Wagtail and singles of Skylark and Grey Wagtail. On the dry scrub 3 Wheatear, Whinchat and Stonechat. Around the willow swamp 10 Chiffchaff and a scattering of Blackcap, Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. Also noted during the circuit, 10 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Greater pecker, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard and Kestrel, plus many more Blackbirds and Robins than of late. South lake continues to attract large numbers of common waterfowl, while several pulses of hirundines dropped in to drink.
ARC - 1500hrs - An hour at Screen hide (where RSPB have done a great job cutting back the reeds) delivered Glossy Ibis, Garganey, Black-necked Grebe, 4 Ruff, 2 Blackwit and Snipe amongst the usual hundreds of dabblers, Lapwings and 4 Little Egret. Also noted Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Cetti`s and Reed Warblers.
Plovers - Our old cottage is a haven for wildlife with newts in the walls, lizards under cupboards and a cricket in the bedroom, and that`s just what I`m aware of; no doubt other beasties lurk in dark, dank corners elsewhere. Anyhow, about now spiders are everywhere, but yesterday evening I went to let Barney out in the garden when I noticed a whopper on the kitchen floor, which fortunately froze enabling me to take a few pics. I put the florin beside it to get some sort of size comparison - it was enormous!
Rummaging through my spider guide I came up with a tentative id of Tegenana duellica, based on the cardiac mark on the abdomen, a species commonly found in houses in the autumn, but I`m no expert and could be way off beam, and probably are. But whatever the species it was a fabulous animal and is currently at large somewhere in the cottage...