I had little other (self-find) reward for those four visits to Burnham Overy Dunes. Three Redstarts, two Pied Flycatchers, Ring Ouzel, Woodlark, Whinchat, a confiding Hobby were about as good as it got. An Osprey must have flown over my head, but I didn't see it. One day there were 100+ Red Admirals stacking up on calories before their southerly migration. And a Hummingbird hawkmoth buzzed around. Plenty of good fungi - though, as ever, in autumn, I pay too much attention to birds to get to grips with them. Certainly 3-4 species of waxcap (Dune, Parrot, Blackening and orangey-red one). I found a few of these Earthstars in the eastern dunes too. I suspect they are Beaked or Field, but Tiny and Dwarf occur in the vicinity, so I really ought to do some research!
I saw my first Yellow-browed Warbler 30 years ago today - at Flamborough Head. A self-find, no less. During the intervening decades, they have gone from sought-after scarce sprite to almost the commonest decent migrant given the hint of an easterly wind. Mid-late September saw the first arrival, and eventually they made it to Norfolk. On my third of four trips to Burnham Overy Dunes at the end of last month, I showed my sister Amy her first ever. The following day I had five in groups of two and three. They may be common nowadays, but they never fail to excite me. Hearing them call and seeing them flirt their stripes is one quintessential autumnal experience of which I never wish to tire. Here are a few record shots of those birds. I am yet to nail a perfect shot of this species!
Another excursion with my sister - visiting from London - was to Cley. Bumping into Mark Golley, we had a nice natter and perusal of a rather waderful scrape. Perhaps 30 Little Stints were dotted around (as many as I can remember ever seeing in one place; it's been a good autumn for them), including an interesting individual (long primary extension, grey, contrasty head pattern) that raised pulses for a couple of minutes. Record shots below. Ruff have also been common this autumn - and we counted 100 or so on the eastern side of the reserve. A Great White Egret win wing moult flew west, high over the scrapes - having been seen over Sheringham 15 minutes earlier. Marsh Harriers put on a good display, and Amy was enchanted by Peregrine (she has one ingrained on her back) and Hobby.