October so far has been far too busy with far to little time spent taking in the natural world so this weekend signalled a time to turn this around. Early morning was fresh and crisp and the local jackdaws woke me with some sort of loud bonding vocal arrangement which was as good an alarm clock as you would want. They were an omen of the day which would see me return to a favourite spot for photographing them from last October in amongst the Pumpkins of Pensthorpe.
Splendid Halloween Jackdaw
Pensthorpe was in full on Halloween mode and was accompanied by a soundtrack of whistling Autumn Wigeon, bugling cranes and the calls of the blackheaded gulls which seem to get more raucous as the weather gets colder. My last visit a few short weeks ago had witnessed a host of butterflies and insects feasting on the late pollen of Ivy and flowers but today there was no sign of much with six legs.
Temporarily quiet and showing off this seasons colours for black-headed gulls (mostly grey)
A trip round the hides showed off marsh tits alongside blue tits and great tits feasting in the shortening days and down by the lakes the winter wildfowl numbers are steadily increasing. Perhaps the most colourful spectacle of the day was not the birds though it was the Fungi. With the autumn being fungus and mushroom season there were plenty to see.
Toxic but beautiful one of many Fly Agaric to grace the damp woodland.
Watch out locally for migrating birds with many still on the move the UEA turned up one of my favourites which I unfortunately missed yesterday in the shape of great grey shrike. I had better make some more nature time and see if I can connect with another this Autumn.