As we head quickly towards October, the hobbies have been seen today, letting us cling on to the last of summer, but a subtle change in the air as the first siskins have been heard flying overhead. Several flocks of goldcrests are foraging around the reserve and it's worth checking through these as a few firecrests have been reported around the country.
I'm heading west to Devon for a few days after a meeting in Norwich tomorrow, so I would imagine the hobbies will have departed for another year when I return next week?
Image credit Ray Piercy
On a nice sunny warm day on the Autumn Equinox, perhaps the first bird of autumn has arrived, as we had a good report of a redwing on the apple tree in the gatehouse garden. This would be a very early record for this returning migrant thrush. A large flock of mistle thrushes have been about, a pair of ravens, noisy day time tawny owls around the HQ gardens and at least two hobbies still hunting over the new heath. On the lavender, rosemary beetles with their colourful psychedelic stripes have been keeping us occupied, as we try to get an in-focus picture of these miniature creatures amongst the flowers!Gill Butt managed to get this one - which was the pick of the bunch.
The first fungi are just appearing, with a common puffball and common birds-nest showing near the Visitor Centre, but it may be a slow start to the season with the prolongued dry period over the summer.
On a nice calm day with a touch of autumn in the air, at least one hobby is still on the reserve and was seen today catching a dragonfly. I wonder when it will decide to fly off? Ravens have been about over the last week and seen today, a small group of five wheatears were just off the site on Biggleswade Common, and I received this great picture today by Gill Street of one of the whinchats that spent some time last week over on Sandy Heath.