Sunday, 7 September 2014

7th of September: Misty mornings and migrant birds

There’s been a real touch of autumn in the air this week with some beautiful, cool, misty mornings and shorter evenings, with almost summery days in between.

The change in weather has meant there’s been more activity in the Plantation and we’ve been seeing quite a few migratory birds on the Point in general, including some that we might usually expect later in the season - Robin and Goldcrest (both first seen today).  Birds seen this week include Whinchat, Wheatear, Wryneck, Song Thrush (first of autumn), Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher and Common Redstart.  One of the highlights this week was an Ortolan Bunting, which was spotted near the Hood.  This is a nocturnal migrant that winters in Africa, and is quite shy so we were lucky to get a glimpse.
Ortolan Bunting – not the best photo but gives an idea of the bird and bright eye ring
Pied flycatcher on the toilet block

In terms of botany, there are still some beautiful flowers in bloom at the moment, including the Yellow Horned-poppy that appears to be recovering well on the shingle ridge post-tidal surge, and well-established clumps of Sea Rocket. The Suaeda is still changing colour and around Pinchen’s Creek the dominant hue is increasingly autumnal.

Sea Rocket

Yellow Horned-poppy

Around Pinchen's Creek

In invertebrate news, there have been some large numbers of Red Admirals in off the sea, with very bright, fresh looking wings. This week we also ran another moth trap (after which we admired the stunning moon with Saturn just beside it through the scopes).  We had a more successful night than the last time we ran a trap due to better conditions.  Some of the species in the trap were Flounced Rustic, Coast Dart, Square-spot Rustic, Pale Eggar, Flame Shoulder, White Point and Blood Vein (below).

As a final note, we are currently in the process of updating our web-site information about Blakeney Point and more detailed information is being added about plants, birds, seals etc. So please do take a look if you are trying to id something – you may find some helpful information there – and let us know what you think.


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