Autumn has rolled into the village with more than a hint of summer in the weather but not enough to prevent the last twittering house martins from flying off to the coast. Other voices replace them however and mornings and most evenings now begin and end with robins starting to proclaim their patches after a quiet summer of moulting. Most evening also bring the villages tawny owls out to do some early territorial and breeding calls. Perhaps the most obvious replacement for flocks of twittering martins is the quite sizeable charms of tinkling goldfinches which have appeared in the last week or so.
The last couple of weeks have seen me take to the streets in what I hope is a new craze that will rival the ‘Pokemon Go’ which is ‘Bat running’ which combines some healthy jogs around the village with my bat detector so I can get fit and build up picture of the previously unseen activity of my nocturnal furry friends. the following map highlights my recent sightings and will be added to the Hethersett’s Bats Page. Any other sightings will be added as I and others log them.
The premier Hethersett Bat Map with the predominant sightings being common pipistrelle with one sighting (in red in the south east of the map) being a Soprano pipistrelle. There are several other local bat species to locate which in part may be missing as I just haven’t got my ear in to picking up their calls. Anyone wanting to see them would do well to pick one of the spots shown particularly around the street lights where I have heard most of their feeding calls and seen them hunting myself.
This afternoon having not managed to get much patch birding in recently and adding no new birds for the year yet for September I took a quick stroll round the West Hethersett Loop. My target bird was a colourful omission from my patch list one of the local kingfishers. The weather whilst fine and sunny was a little blustery and the hedge rows heaving with crops of berries were straining against the wind and not much evidence of birdlife was to be found.An occasional wind assisted woodpigeon flew across my path and a scolding wren also added to my count but not much else. I sought sanctuary in thewooods around the Great Melton reservoir which were more promising with calling robins and moorhens. The latter still have chicks and were about in reasonable numbers.
Young moorhens with their impossibly large feet.
A thorough search of the lake picked up little more than dragonflies and a calling mallard and certainly no kingfisher which will just have to wait for another day. Last highlight was setting the pace for the local anglers one of the local heron youngsters which stayed a while before flying off out of sight for some more private fishing.
Young Grey Heron in competition with the GMR Anglers
The walk home produced little more in the way of birdlife other than some calling blue tits and a carrion crow however I did notice that there is an opening to one of the other local ponds which has been cut out presumably by the anglers which not only adds a possible fishing patch but also a potential window onto a birding hot-spot with water birds, finches and thrushes all likely to appear in numbers in the next few weeks so I may have to stake out this new window on a previously hidden world and see what magic it has to offer. Today all it offered was late butterflies with numerous speckled woods and large whites making the most of the late summer sun.