1st Oct. The hours passed quickly during another afternoon under the sun in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve. There can’t have been too many first days of October that have been so warm. Summers over and the best seasons are beginning. Sam and I spent a rewarding time looking at the trees. It’s time I paid more attention to trees, and I have made a note to keep a scrapbook of leaves and other information next year. Butterflies in the form of Large White, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and many Speckled Wood also caught our attention, as did the large number of dragonflies enjoying these days of warmth and mellow fruitfulness. Common Darter, Southern Hawker and Common/Migrant Hawkers were seen.
As well as a relaxed wander around the reserve we spent a good length of time in the new hide, and if time is to be spent in a hide there are few locally that can beat this one. We were rewarded with an excellent sighting of Bittern as it flew over the pond and I was able to make use of my new lens (yes I’ve finally got one, and a new camera body will be next) when the Kingfisher arrived. Now I think I’m turning into a real photographer, not that I’m claiming that my images are class, but I am beginning to complain a lot about lighting conditions. It wasn’t bad light today just not the right kind of light! Even Sam told me to stop complaining, although on reflection I’m not sure how he had the nerve! Anyway the Kingfisher put on a fine show and I won’t complain about that.
As I heated up in the hide there were other sounds and sights to entertain. There’s quite a number of Willow Warblers remaining in the reserve and the calls of Water Rails could be heard close by us. Common Snipe showed really well and a flock of Lapwing paid a fleeting visit. Grey Herons occasionally tricked us into thinking that the Bittern was lifting from the reeds and two Common Buzzards mewed and flew overhead. Occasional Jays flew across in the distance and Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard. The pond held the likes of Little Grebe, Shoveller, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon and Teal.
It had been an excellent few hours and as we left the reed-bed a Bullfinch showed briefly but beautifully in the dappled sunlight. An exotic bird indeed.