More of that October sunshine led to a fantastic day on the reserve on Saturday. Not only did I get my first view of a Hen Harrier at Loch Leven, but there were also good numbers of winter thrushes about, including my first Mistle Thrushes of the Autumn, and good numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare.
One of 3 Mistle Thrushes
Another Mistle Thrush- a brute of a bird when compared to the smaller thrushes commonly encountered.
A wee flock of Fieldfare
One of at least 30 Redwings seen near Orwell
Also good numbers of Reed Bunting still around…
…and large flocks of Goldfinch, particularly at Burleigh, where they’ve been feeding on the seeds of Meadowsweet.
It’s always worth scanning the finch flocks, for the occasional Redpoll.
Small flocks of Bullfinches are also frequent at this time of year. Jeremy caught this one feeding on a willow bud this morning.
With the clocks going back, you wouldn’t expect to be out photographing many dragonflies or butterflies, but on a fine autumnal day there’s always a chance that you’ll catch them zipping about and sunning themselves for a good burst of solar energy.
A Red Admiral settles on a Yew tree in the sunshine.
A pair of Common Darters getting some warmth on the wall by Orwell Church. Note the brighter red abdomen and narrower ‘waist’ of the male above.
Black Darters are usually late to emerge, and are often seen late in the year.
This Buzzard watches the ground intently, waiting for the slightest sign of movement.
Along the River Leven a flash of electric blue was all that I saw, but it was enough to know that a Kingfisher had just flitted along the river and out of view. As I tried in vain to relocate it, I did find another rather colourful bankside regular, the Grey Wagtail.
The most conspicuous of bankside dwellers along the River Leven has to be the Grey Heron, frquently flushed from various points, and occasionally content to pose on a branch.
This one searched for fish at the Sluice gates.
Note the dark flashes on the head, indicating that this is an adult
The grey crown and lack of dark flashes indicate that this is a juvenile.