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Thursday, 2 August 2018

My autumn begins with a bang (all-beit muted)!

Best bird of the summer was present today - and what was it? Yep, a Garganey! Always a noteworthy and less than annual visitor on the Marsh and at any other time it might have brought in a few birders but given that three were at Stubbers a couple of days ago I suspect most people will have connected with the species by now.

Due to the state of the vegetation along the mineral line I was able to approach quite close and get a good look and although I am prepared to be proven wrong, I am reasonably convinced that it was the more aloof of the Stubbers birds that Pete Newman and I scoped, on Tuesday? The broken supercillium looked very similar and Ray informed me yesterday that the Stubbers birds appeared to have moved on?
Not today's bird but a 2015 specimen on the Marsh - Photo Kev Clements
Everything you know may say that it is still summer but everything on the Marsh is crying 'Autumn'. The butterflies are bleached out, the grass has gone golden brown, the Willowherb has gone over and the Red Bartsia is already in flower. On top of that there were also two Teal and an eclipse plumage Shoveler on the Marsh today, small beginnings for our winter duck counts.

Perhaps the most striking indication  though was the silence. The last few breeding gulls are still on the island but that incessant row from the breeding colony has now been silenced for another year.

Still a few Swift going through but the majority of the village birds appear to have gone so it looks like we are set to go for an Autumn migration whenever you want. The water level on the swag is the lowest it has been since the late nineties so as good a chance as you will get to see our elusive Water Rails, just sit quietly in the evening or early morning and watch the bottom of the vegetation for movement. Who knows, you might find a Spotted Crake as they are August/September migrants and they have occurred on site several times?

Right, that's it, job done and feet-up for a cuppa. - Have a nice weekend all - Chaz