The reedbed has taken on a touch of the 'Hendrix' at the moment as the phragmites is just starting to flower and in the right light conditions emit a dazzling yet calming Purple Haze. And hey man you know, there are so many sublime aspects to a reedbed which changes with the seasons just like a meadow or a woodland, all you have to do to appreciate this natural wonder is take your time, chill out and look around! You don't even have to wear flares though or purple trousers and tank top to enjoy.
Bird-wise it is certainly a time of change with many summer migrants moving south. Ruff increased to 25 on Friday and there has been a steady build up of spotted redshank, greenshank, snipe and green sandpiper. There were also 3 bar tailed godwits and four avocet, ringed plover, 2 turnstone, 22 curlew, 43 oystercatcher flying west, 5 black tailed godwits and common sandpiper.
The marsh harriers are becoming increasingly scarce as many seemed to have moved off south. However, up to 9 are still roosting on site most of which are males. There has also been up to two hobbies showing well on occasions and a magnificant female peregrine that almost took the top off my head as she chased a starling! An Osprey passed nearby on Sunday but for some reason was not seen from Blacktoft but was from Alkborough!
The bittern continues to carry out its feeding flights which now raises the interesting question, was the young bird photographed by PatC from that brood? Usually bitterns fledge and disperse but as the young can hatch a few days apart then some birds will be younger than others, if it was a large brood of four this could be anything up to 12 days between the first and last youngster fledging!
Other recent interesting sightings have been cuckoo, 3 little egrets, 70 yellow wagtails, bearded tit (marshland and due to its moult tail less!), several common terns, and plenty of water rails.
Below two harrier fledglings enjoying the 'reedbed music' - purple haze
And a species that had a much more healthy population in Hendrix's day - cuckoo. This one was outside reception yesterday (photo by Matt Cox)