Phalarope at Southwold and wildlife of the heaths.....
First stop of the day (12th) with Jason Nichols was at Southwold, where a Grey Phalarope had been reported. Although the directions were slightly obscure, eventually the ‘flash’ was found, where sure enough a Grey Phalarope was present, along with a Ruff, Lapwings and several Gulls, Wigeon and Teal.
After some long-range efforts with the camera equipment, the walk back along the river found a Little Egret hunting (in between seeing off another little egret) in amongst the boat staging.
Although little egrets have been photographed several times recently, another opportunity to capture the behaviour of this elegant heron is never refused when presented, especially at close range. Now very much part of the ‘scenery’ in England, it is easy to forget how rare this egret once was, a relatively short time ago. It is still amazing to regularly see this bird out of the car window as you drive around Norfolk, especially over the Breydon Bridge and along the Acle Straight.
On to Westleton Heath, where a single Red Deer Stag was seen making its way across one of the fields and 3 Small Copper, Red Admiral and a Vapourer Moth represented the late flying Lepidoptera.
Dartford Warblers were quite active and included two singing, whilst several Stonechats were seen in the distance and to add to the auditory senses a Woodlark was heard singing quite close by. Although the woodlark was not seen a Green Woodpecker was, as it flew across and perched on the side of a pine, where it also seemed to completely vanish from! A flock of at least 15 Meadow Pipits were also on the heath and back near the car parking area Fly Agaric fungi were found.
A walk across Dunwich Heat followed, where Dartford Warblers (at least 4) were busily trying to drive the passing Meadow Pipits (when some landed in a small Hawthorn) out of their territory. A male Stonechat was also seen and a male Kestrel was hunting over the heath, which did not help the warbler photography!
A Vapourer Moth was also seen here and landed briefly on the heather. Common Darters were still relatively abundant with pairs in tandem and a Migrant Hawker was also seen.
Just before Blythburgh, a Weasel ran back and forth across the road and later at Burgh Castle a Pipistrelle Bat sp. was seen and a Feathered Ranunculus was perched on the side of the building.
Dartford Warbler Meadow Pipit
Juvenile House Sparrow Green Woodpecker Small Copper