11th Oct. Sam and I braved the drizzle and visited the coast again today. We were initially treated to hedges containing gold, and lots of it, at the west end of the crematorium grounds. It helped take our minds off the drizzling rain that fell intermittently.
We later walked down to the wetland area, passing numbers of Curlew which in the dull grey light, were camouflaged so well against the almost colourless and rather barren farmland, that we almost missed them. Having reached the wetland we were treated once again to sightings of much gold, a lot of which seemingly had just arrived from overseas. So many pieces of gold, that we were unable to count them to any degree of accuracy. Even more gold was later found in the mounds as we walked to Seaton Sluice. There was enough gold found to warrant a smile even from someone of the disposition of Long John Silver, but he wasn’t there of course and neither was there many other folk although we spoke to one or two passing bird watchers and at more length to members of the birding group from the Natural History Society. The gold I speak of was of course in the form of Goldcrests, there having been a migratory fall of these birds, each adult weighing on average only six and a half grams, or perhaps even less now that they had flown so far. They were all frantically feeding in order to build up strength again and their high pitched sii sii sii calls could be heard as they communicated their presence.
We failed to find any sighting of Yellow Browed Warbler today, although I don’t doubt thy there would have been some present. I suspect they may have been keeping deep in the vegetation out of the wind and rain. Five newly arrived Brambling were found, initially by call, as they appeared to make there way inland after the sea crossing. More ephemeral magic was provided in the form of a hunting Merlin, initially spotted as it flew low along the hedge line and out into open ground near the willows before quickly disappearing. A single Fieldfare was seen in flight above the wetland edge before dropping into the hedges. Our second Great Spotted Woodpecker of the day made a longer appearance as it flew in typical fashion around the area and a pair of Kestrel hovered in the wind above the cliff edge.
So if you take away the treasure provided by the Goldcrests, there was no mass migration arrival today, but there was enough to satisfy us for six hours, including waders along the way, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Sanderling Turnstone, Dunlin and Curlew included.
Far from an ideal day for photography today, but I'd purchased a new wide angle lens (Sigma 10-20 3.5) so I was damn well going to use it! Yes, you can expect some wider perspective images in future.