Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Spoonbills at Gib.

 As we drew into the car Park at Gibraltar Point it seemed to have been a quick journey, perhaps because we had come along the main road to Skegness rather than winding down the coast road as we often do.  Apart from birding we were keen to see the new visitor centre but annoying chose the one day of the week when it is closed.  The new centre replaced the one that was washed away in the storm of 2013 and I find it difficult to believe that we haven't been since then.

We were fortunate with the weather: sunny all day and 16C by the time we left.  Initially the wind was cool and we donned thick coats which we regretted later in the day.  We began by visiting the main hides and scrapes of Jackson's Marsh and Tennyson Sands.  Common darter dragonflies were on the wing and plentiful and we saw a late speckled wood and even more of a surprise, a small copper.  The first hide rewarded me with good views and images of a single black-tailed Godwit and many more were seen later on Tennyson's Sands.  It was a real thrill to see the spoonbills, a species I have only seen once before many years ago.  There was a group of ten birds close to the hide and the photos needed no cropping.  Unfortunately they spent most of their time sleeping with bill tucked under their wings but occasionally woke up to preen briefly and then the unusual spoon-shaped bill could be seen.  Avocets were also plentiful here but always moving quickly and jerkily so a challenge to photograph.  I was pleased to get close views of a small group of pink-footed geese and then a larger group flew in later.

Having had a good session in the hides we continued our walk down across the freshwater marsh to the dunes where we had lunch at the elevated observation point at Mill Hill and then continued up the beach to the end of the old spit.  I couldn't believe how much the area had changed.  What used to be a shingle spit where little terns nested is now covered in vegetation and beyond, to the seaward side is the 'new' Millennium Spit.  There is still a magnificent view out over the Wash, though.  We continued back over the marsh to the car and some photography (and painting for Heather) of the Haven and the boats moored in it.

Before leaving we called in again to see if the spoonbills were more active.  They were; to the extent that they had flown off.  We completed the day with excellent fish and chips at Mr Chips in Louth.

A wonderful day.

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River Steeping
River Steeping
Old coastguard Station and Visitor Centre
River Steeping
River Steeping
River Steeping
Heligoland trap at the observatory
Reserve views
Reserve views
View over The Wash



Reserve views
Reserve views
The Wash

Spoonbills
Spoonbills
Spoonbills
Spoonbills
Small Copper
Small Copper

Pinkfeet
Pinkfeet
Pinkfeet
Pinkfeet
Pinkfeet
Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits
Linnet
Cormorant
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit

Avocet
Avocet

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Return to the Horsefield

 Another walk through the cemetery and back via the horsefield today.  Cooler today at 12C and with hazy sun, it was blusteryand I was pleased a wore my winter jacket.  It was good to watch a buzzard soaring of the new plough and a kestrel hovering over the Horsfield.  I was delighted to get a good view of a stone chat in the same place as the one in the spring but annoyed as I had gone without the camera, so the picture is one from earlier in the year.

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Saturday, 2 October 2021

Spirits of the Forest in Nettleton Woods

 Mr reasons for a walk around Nettleon Woods were threefold.  Jet needed walking, we were keen to check the woods out for fungi and I am exploring the potential of combining my woodland photography with folklore, and myths and legends of the forest.  Jet, as always, enjoyed his walk with lots to explore and smell.  The damp Autumn woodland was redolent with scent, both for him and ourselves; especially the stench of stinkhorn fungi.  Although we found a few fungi there weren't anything like as many as this time last year.  We did find good numbers of puff balls, a solitary fly agaric and a few amethyst deceivers in the same spot that we found them last year.

We did enjoy though looking for faces of tree spirits hiding in plain sight; one remarkably like I envisage Treebeard might look in Fanghorn Forest in the excellent Tolkein Story, Lord of the Rings.  Another find was a small rowan growing in a hazel coppice.  In Celtic mythology rowan is the 'Tree of Life' and represents courage, wisdom and protection; a reason for our close association with this splendid tree.

Although the bracken in the wood is beginning to take on Autumn tints the colouring of the woods is still a week or two away.

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Amethyst Deceiver
Amethyst Deceiver
Fly Agaric
Fly Agaric
Fireweed or Rosebay Willowherb
Fireweed or Rosebay Willowherb



















The Tree of Life




Puff Ball
Puff Ball