Signs of autumn are making themselves increasingly evident at the moment, not least made obvious by the fact that I'm back cutting and burning in the fen! The wildlife has also shown signs of changing times, a Garganey and plenty of Ruff from Tower Hide as well as second generation swallowtails emerging and thousands of swallows roosting in the reedbed each evening symbolise departures.
I decided to have an evening walk at Strumpshaw on Saturday evening, I knew that the water levels were looking particularly crakey and with pictures of Titchwells spotted crake all over the net I thought I'd try to find my own. I sat in the hide looked out for about 10 mins enjoying a busy broad when I turned to look at the sightings board- Spotted Crake today! Ok so I was pipped to the post, now to refind the thing. After a couple of hours and the onset of almost darkness I had 'only' seen a couple of water rails and plenty of Juv and adult Moorhens, I conceded defeat and headed home. On the way back I was amazed by the sheer number of Swallows, I estimate that at least 1200 but more likely 2500 must have roosted in the reedbed, a fantastic sight!
|Swallows coming in to roost on Saturday night|
On talking to a reception volunteer it sounds like the crake sighting could possibly be erroneous with a description of angle of walking rather than bare part or plumage details, they also saw some Sandwich Terns, which not impossible is highly unlikely. I'd love to be proven wrong but at the moment it has not passed the SBRC.
On Monday I was cutting the trails and nipped into Tower hide for lunch and found a Garganey feeding continuously in front of the hide. Its not been reported again but I wonder how many visitors would pick it out of the flocks of eclipse ducks on offer from the hide!
|Second generation swallowtail|