September Barnacles


So far so good in respect of record hot weather this September as records are broken and foreign holidays seem a little pointless. In fact so good it has put me off checking my local WEBS sites until the last couple of days and then only once the madness of the midday sun had passed. In accordance with my Hethersett sightings there were no kingfishers on offer however there were plenty of water birds getting in line to be counted at Marlingford

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Waterbirds waiting to be counted including greylag geese, Canada geese, an Egyptian goose and a fly over black-headed gull in the Autumn/Summer Sun.

As I scanned and counted the various wildlife it was clear that the season’s march was reflected in higher numbers of bids which are scarce in summer.  As the breeding season is now over the various gulls have increased in number and cormorants were also present in double figures along side similar numbers of grey herons.

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Here’s looking at you. Lesser black-backed gull was only lower in number than Black headed gull and a single common gull reflecting numbers around the village.

Amongst the wildfowl there were lots of geese including the local flock of Yare Valley barnacle geese and as I disturbed them they flew up and one caught my eye as a bit different.

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Barnacle geese with a greylag goose (bottom left) take flight. Spot the odd one out, not of course that a flock of geesefrom Greenland  in mid Norfolk isn’t odd anyway.

On closer inspection thanks to a quick camera grab the odd goose shows that his parents weren’t maintaining a strictly barnacle relationship and I would guess there is some other more farm goose ish genes in the recent family history.I would welcome any thoughts on the exact parentage.

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Barnacle goose (bottom right ) and hybrid which shows thicker head and neck and less muscled elongated body giving it an almost snow goose appearance.

Whilst there had been a poor year for the breeding terns and gulls it was really nice to watch a group of young little grebes splashing about and clearly enjoying some breeding success this year which hopefully has been reflected on the Hethersett Hall Lake. My favourite and one which came just close enough for a photo was the larger and more elegant cousin.

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Great Crested Grebe 

The summer sunshine also brought out another village resident which is currently enjoying the fruits of what appears to be a ‘mast year‘ whether it is the local blackberries or my windfall pears and the latest resident of The Butterfly Collector.

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Red Admiral appearing now on fallen fruit near you.

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