1st Oct. In comparison to much of the year so far, September had been a fairly quiet month for me, although it had still brought me a couple of lifers in the shape of Spotted Crake and American Golden Plover and a new patch tick at the end of the month. I’d also had some of my best ever sightings of Kingfisher. Today I visited Gosforth Park Nature Reserve with Sam in the hope of finding the Jack Snipe.
Falling leaves betrayed the fact that autumn is advancing, as did the rather cold breeze, but at least the sun shone. Unfortunately it didn’t shine on a Jack Snipe, as far as we could see anyway. The sun did bring out the biting insects and I have the bites to prove it. I wasn’t expecting that in October.
As we entered the reserve Sam caught sight of a Sparrowhawk as it flew off into the woodland. Apart from that the woodland areas seemed very quiet apart from the calling Jays and one or two singing Chiffchaff.
We seemed to have the reserve to ourselves for much of the time and used our period in the hide to watch the Little Grebes and active Grey Heron whilst over one hundred Wigeon called and flew overhead, some landing on the pond. The pond also held two pairs of Shoveller, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck and numerous Moorhens.
At least two Migrant Hawker Dragonflies were found and sunlit areas of the woodland held a number of Speckled Wood Butterflies.