The last two days of October on the reserve were exceptional for the weather that we experienced, weather that would not be amiss in mid-summer, it was sunny, still and very warm with a record temp. of 24 degrees reached in Kent. The early morning of Friday the 31st, was particularly exceptional in being able to walk around at 8.00 in just a jumper and trousers and be almost sweating as the sun began to climb above the distant hills. Below you can see the mainland hills beyond Seasalter as the sun first began to appear.
As the sun began to strengthen you can see it shining down one side of this Kestrel on a seawall bush. A little later, whilst standing by the reserve's boundary hedge line, my delight at the beauty of the weather was compounded when I had the amazing sight of a newly hatched male Orange Tip butterfly fluttering towards me, that has to be a record sighting for the time of the year!
This morning at dawn, the weather was a whole different proposition, as you can see below looking across the reserve from the sea wall. A strong SW wind was blowing and increasingly darkening skies threatened imminent rain, which shortly after duly arrived.
But it's been nice this autumn to have the "S Bend Ditch" retaining some water and this reserve-bred brood of swans have been enjoying it with their parents. Snipe too have been fairly regular along there in good numbers.
Bird numbers still remain fairly low, apart from a flock of 600+ Brent Geese that are daily stripping large quantities of the young rape leaves from fields alongside the Shellness track, despite having shots fired over their heads to scare them off. That could become a problem for both the farmer and the geese if they continue to ravage the crop in such a way.
The flock of Pink-footed Geese are still seen on the reserve most days, with the latest count being 48 birds and yesterday I had the first of this autumn's Hen Harriers there, a nice adult female.
Lastly, just recently we have had a profusion of delicious field mushrooms spring up all over the reserve, great to eat and my girlfriend made a soup out of one lot, which went down very well.