Sunday, January 29, 2012


After a pretty lazy Saturday I managed to complete a full days birding today with Brandon Marsh first thing, followed by a trip with Dee across to Rutland Water in Leicestershire!

A foggy start when I left the marina at around 7am this morning for Brandon and as I walked to the car I could clearly hear one or two Skylarks in the adjacent field, several Fieldfare were also calling nearby.

When I arrived at Brandon the early fog had thankfully risen sufficiently to check out Newlands reed bed and East Marsh Pool. I've not personally had any sightings this year of our wintering Bittern, in fact Derek Bennett another member of the Brandon team, is the only person who's made contact with the bird thus far with a brief view last Thursday, just nice to know its still around.

Bewick Swan
The pool itself had the usual good numbers of Lapwing, Teal, Shoveler and Tufted Duck, and this mornings count also included 4 Pochard, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Wigeon, 5 Snipe and a pair of Goldeneye. Also recorded of note during my brief stay were ♂♀Bullfinch, Cetti's Warbler, 3 singing Song Thrush, 2 Siskin and 4 Lesser Redpoll.

After picking Dee up back at the marina we set off for Rutland Water arriving just before midday, a highlight on route was our first Red Kite of the year when one floated over us at Caldecott just prior to our arrival. The first species of note at Rutland were 4 Bewick Swans, visible from the Birdwatching Centre. From here we set off North towards lagoons 3 and 4, picking up Siskin, Green Woodpecker and a small flock of Long-tailed Tit on route.

Lagoon 4 itself was remarkably quiet, with the exception of a good number of Mute Swans and Greylag Geese, but the hide was quiet so we enjoyed some of our packed lunch and coffee before moving on, registering of note Little Grebe, Kestrel and Great Black-backed Gull. When we arrived at Lagoon 3 the heavens opened and so we settled down for a good scan coming up with: Water Rail, 2 Redhead and 1 ♂Smew, ♂Scaup, 3 Little Egret, 8 Snipe and 15 Pintail amongst the many Goldeneye, Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck, Shoveler and exceptional numbers of Gadwall.

Little Egret
During a visit to Lapwing Hide, which overlooks the vast South Arm of the reserve, we failed to connect with a reported Slavonian Grebe, but did manage some excellent numbers of ♂♀Goldeneye. A hot chocolate back at the centre overlooking Lagoon 1 from the raised seating area produced 5♂4♀Goosander and our 4th year-first of the day, when a ♂Stonechat made a brief appearance on top of one of the Bulrushes ending a decent session.

Despite the poor light I've posted a few distant images of the day, hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Norfolk Day 2 (Sunday)

Black-tailed Godwit @ Titchwell
Day two of my Norfolk weekend and after a Full-English at the hotel in Hunstanton to set me up for the day I decided to make my way back along the A149 towards Salthouse. My first stop was the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Holme Dunes.

If anything, the wind today had actually increased in strength and as I joined the perimeter path overlooking the sea shore it was apparent that once again the birding would be difficult. Dodging the early morning showers I managed a great selection of shore birds including Spotted Redshank, Sanderling, Knot, Ruff, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Redshank and both Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit. I continued North and a scan of the fields produced both ♂♀Marsh Harrier, the usual selection of Geese which included a single Ross's, probably the same one recently seen at Holkham, plus Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Short-eared Owl were also recorded. A sea-watch gave up Goldeneye, Red-Necked Grebe and passing low over the beach, 3 Snow Bunting.

Snow Bunting @ Salthouse
A visit to RSPB Titchwell next for a better look at the Coues Arctic Redpoll, and after achieving some much improved views of this long stayer a walk to the seafront. This proved to be harder than it sounded and I was battered and bruised from the unrelenting gale by the time I reached the sea. Having said that it was completely worth it recording 2 Long-tailed Duck and Great-northern Diver. The usual shore birds were on offer and deciding not to visit the busy hides I'd further added Water Rail, Bittern, Little Egret, and a brave Marsh Harrier mastering the wind.

Another stop at Burnham Overy where the Laplands were showing occasionally and this time a walk down to the shore, which was hard work in the ever present gale. The surrounding fields held around 250 Golden Plover, 500+ Wigeon and endless counts of Curlew, plus Yellowhammer, Brent, Pink-footed, European White-fronted and Egyptian Geese.

Rough-legged Buzzard
I continued working my way along the A149, deciding to stay local and not venturing further afield for such gems as Great Grey Shrike at Fakenham, or Waxwings in Norwich. I paused for an hour at Holkham Freshwater sheltering behind some large Hawthorn, picking up Marsh Harrier and finally getting yesterdays bogey bird Rough-legged Buzzard, as one finally drifted by!

Stiffkey and Wells were next, no sign of the reported Glaucous Gull, but I did manage the Black Brant on the playing fields at Wells. I continued on for a second look for the Arctic Redpolls at Kelling, in a street aptly named 'The Street'. I must say that this is not my kind of birding and after finally being able to get a sniff of a view in-between the photographers and birders I came away with both Mealy and Arctic ticks!!

Another stop at Salthouse for coffee on route back to the hotel and I ended my weekend at Burnham Overy once more, in the hope of Owls in the fading light. I was rewarded with 2 Barn Owls which drifted across the fields, a pleasant end to the trip!

*I've uploaded a few of my images of the weekend to my Flickr Site!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Norfolk Day 1 (Saturday)

Tundra Bean Goose (Holkham)
Having dropped Dee off at Luton Airport for her early morning flight up to Scotland I made my way across to Norfolk for a weekends solo birding.

My first stop was Holkham and another shot at the reported Shore Larks, something that myself and a few of the Brandon team had failed to pick up on a few weeks early. As I drove up St Anne's Lane towards the car park the usual congregation of Pink-footed Geese were on site and by the time I entered the pine wood on route to the sea shore, I'd recorded several Grey Partridge, plus Marsh Harrier and Peregrine. At least 2 Goldcrest in the pines before I emerged on to the salt flats and it was immediately apparent that the birding was going to be extremely difficult in a very strong north-westerly.

Battling my way across the flats towards the beach area I recorded many Skylark, mingled in with the odd Meadow Pipit, but alas, another blow out on the Shore Larks. A brief sea-watch produced Red-breasted Merganser and Razorbill, the beach held Sanderling, Redshank and Oystercatcher, but to be honest I was glad to get back to the comfort of the car having even battled to keep the tripod upright!

**Greenland White fronted
My next stop was a few miles further up the A149 at Holkham Freshwater Marsh, where I met up with a couple of Hertfordshire birders already on site, they'd already done the hard work and within minutes I'd recorded 200+ Brent Geese, around 75 White-fronted, along with 2 Greenland White-fronted, 27 Barnacle Geese and 4 Egyptian. A scan for the local Rough-legged Buzzard came up a blank but during the search a Common Buzzard and a second Marsh Harrier of the day were recorded.

A little further on and a stop at Burnham Overy for a shot at the Lapland Buntings, which from my observations today are mingled in with a large flock of Linnet, Meadow Pipit and Skylark. I'm not sure that the bird-guides report of at least 64 is that accurate. Myself and several other birders did manage to pick out at least 8 birds but it's extremely hard work and when the birds return to the stubble field they completely disappear from view! The local Rough-legged Buzzard, often seen from this vantage point, and indeed seen earlier, still remained absent from my list. Other birds of note during my 60 minute observation were 4 Grey Partridge, 2 Yellowhammer and a solitary day hunting Barn Owl.

My intention from here was to move on to Titchwell but having been given a few tip offs from birders I'd met earlier I decided to back track to Holkham, where a Tundra Bean Goose was now showing well. The guys also told me of a remarkable situation further up the coast at Kelling, where apparently 2 Coues Arctic Redpoll were showing in someones garden!

Snow Buntings at Salthouse
Tundra duly recorded and photographed I made the drive across to Kelling, with a brief stop at Cley, great timing, recording my first UK Glaucous Gull (Juv) for some time, Water Pipit and taking a second peak of the month at the Western Sandpiper.

What greeted me at Kelling was surreal to say the least, a group of birders, with the owners permission, staring from the road at his garden feeders, where apparently 2 Arctic and several Mealy are regular visitors, sadly not during my brief stay!

With light fading a stop off at Salthouse and the company of at least 15 or so Snow Buntings and an excellent Latte from the white van man, pure bliss!

**Greenland Image taken by Tony Collins just prior to my arrival

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stick To Birding!

Our Dedicated Leader!
Knowing full well that the pools at Brandon Marsh were likely to be frozen after last nights -6C I decided to take a tour of the reserve with the sole aim of giving my camera the priority over birding for a change.

I arrived a little later than normal and had completely forgotten that JR had chosen this morning to complete a check of the three Tawny Owl boxes located on site. A perfect opportunity for some close up Tawny photographs of JR checking and ringing any new arrivals. Unfortunately luck was not on our side as all three boxes were vacant, with the exception of some Stock Dove leftovers! A small bonus was that during the walk 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard drumming, my first of the year!

Best Of The Day
Notwithstanding I decided to continue my tour of the remainder of the reserve, which I have to say had very little movement during my whole visit. The path leading away from Wright Hide had a small number of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, far too high in the canopy for any decent shots and directly in the sun. Big Hide and Carlton Hide had little to offer on the photographic side but a small unfrozen area held the usual waterfowl, including 15 Wigeon. I did manage a distant Kestrel, a low flying Sparrowhawk and around 20 or so Golden Plover at Carlton, but they didn't bother stopping and continued on overhead.

The best of the day was at Steetley Hide on the west marsh. A Buzzard perched in a tree opposite on arrival and then Peter and I enjoyed a hive of activity, when a flock of around 40+ Siskin dropped in accompanied by several Lesser Redpoll and Goldfinch. During our short halcyon period we also recorded 3 Treecreepers and a small Long-tailed Tit flock, I also managed a very brief view of Goldcrest but as for pictures, well the light had gone and most of the birds were playing hide and seek. I think I'll stick to my birding as a priority!!

How Obvious Can It Be!
Finally, a quick thank you to those of you who've emailed me regarding the idiots at Brandon on Sunday taking photographs from a restricted conservation area. Your outrage at their behaviour is evident and I would also ask that anyone who may know these individuals, or indeed have any photographs of them, should contact me via email. We visited the area this morning and could clearly see it had been breached!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Long Day!

Brief Video Of Phase 3
I watched the sun rise at Brandon Marsh on Sunday morning and then I watched it set over the Grandborough valley later, while watching Short-eared Owls!

A few of the team decided to have a dawn walk around the new phase 3 reed bed area at Brandon, which is now looking brilliant, with all ditches full of water and the base work for the new hide and osprey pole now in place. The back-breaking job of planting the new reeds will take place in the spring. Access to a new observation point overlooking the area will be available at a future date, by a path leading beyond the Carlton Hide.

As we made our way back to the public area a Peregrine arrived, perching in the 'big dead tree', before making off north towards New Hare Covert. A single Barnacle Goose was also in amongst the Canada flock as around 60 or so passed overhead. Most of the pools were frozen after a few nights hard frost but the recent 3 Shelduck were still on site, plus around 15 Wigeon, 9 Snipe and good numbers of Teal and Shoveler.

The majority of Fieldfare and Redwing have now moved on to the surrounding fields, having completely exhausted the berry stock on site, and are now feeding on windfall, worms and anything else they can get their beaks in to, and this probably explains not a single Redwing sighting at Brandon today! However, of note: Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and 22 Cormorant were all recorded, plus various numbers of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin in the surrounding Alder.

Back aboard and in the late afternoon Dee and I decided to check out an area only 10 minutes from the marina, where Short-eared Owls had been reported, and thank you to RM for the information. We enjoyed a lovely walk and were rewarded with 3 birds, sadly not in flight but roosting atop the hedgerow, still an awesome sight nevertheless. Also recorded on our walk were: 6 Yellowhammer, 4 Linnet, 2 Tree Sparrow and a single Golden Plover. In the distance 2 huge roosts of Jackdaw and Starling could be seen. The starlings giving their usual stunning display!

Finally, I received some bitter sweet news from Brandon Marsh Birding sightings update! The good news: It appears we now have 2 Bittern on site thanks to Gary Hobbs observations. The bad news: More irresponsible behaviour from a mindless minority of idiot photographers who occasionally frequent the site. When two individuals were seen actually standing at the Sand Martin structure taking photographs, and of course scattering everything on East Marsh Pool, much to the annoyance of everyone in the surounding hides.

In answer to the many Tweets and Emails I've already had on the incident, yes, they would have to pass a barrier to get across to this area which absolutely states 'Conservation Area No Entry' How hard can it be!

Friday, January 13, 2012

On The Patch

♂Smew at Draycote Today!
After our away day in Norfolk it was back to Brandon Marsh on Thursday with the work party volunteers. The morning was spent dealing with probably the biggest tree I've ever dropped, when we dealt with a huge Willow in Horsetail Glade, which was leaning dangerously towards the footpath.

On the birding front I spent a short while in Big Hide before starting work, being entertained by a very energetic Peregrine which had the Gulls, circa500 Lapwing and Waterfowl darting around East Marsh Pool. At one time the birds were flying so close to the water to evade him that you could see the water literately shuddering due to the downward airflow! The bird left empty handed, perching high in a tree and offering some excellent views.

Also of note on East Marsh Pool were: 3 Shelduck, 1 Barnacle Goose, 5 Goldeneye 2♂ of which 1 was juvenile + 3♀, 11 Snipe and 22 Wigeon. During work around 90 Golden Plover were seen in flight over the 'Tip' area and when I returned after work at around 3pm to Big Hide, most likely the same Peregrine made another unsuccessful attempt, plus I had 1 Raven over and my first Kingfisher of the year.

When I woke this morning at around 6am I decided to have a trawl locally to see if any Owls were on the patch and then pay a visit to Draycote Water at first light. I love these crystal clear crispy mornings, something that we don't seem to have had a lot of this winter. I also wanted to see if I could spot Mercury, which is currently low in the east just before dawn. Did you know that statistics show that only 1% of the population of the UK have apparently ever seen Mercury?

No sign of any of the Marina's Tawny Owl population, which have been quite elusive of late, but I did manage one of the Little Owls which was perched in his usual spot atop one of the telephone poles. A search of the adjacent fields produced a quartering Barn Owl and by the time I reached Napton Reservoir the mist had descended, ruling out any chance of spotting a rarity!

Checking the live Draycote Weather Station Cam on my Ipad all seemed clear and yes you guessed it, by the time I reached Farborough Bank the mist had duly descended. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long before the sun burnt most of it off and I was off and running. For my second consecutive visit I managed to dip on the Red-breasted Merganser, but did however make contact with my first ♂Smew of the year, when I finally caught up with the recent arrival near the Valve Tower. Other birds of note for the day were a singing Skylark, a half dozen Goosander, Yellow-legged Gull and around 25 Yellowhammer, which were in trees across the field at the back of the 'Inlet'. (Draycote Water Map)

Oh and finally I never managed to make contact with Mercury, apparently January 16th is a more favourable date.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Norfolk Away Day!

Pale-Bellied Brent (top-left)
A change of scenery yesterday with Paul, Derek and Jim and a very enjoyable day trip to the Norfolk coast.

We decided to begin our day at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Cley Marshes and try for the long staying Western Sandpiper. Quite a rarity to the UK having been blown in all the way from America. We'd determined that the best viewing would be from the Teal Hide, a hide which overlooks Pat's Pool, an area apparently favoured by the bird.

On the walk down to the hide a single Snipe, plus a group of Brent Geese were in flight, showing a lighter Pale-bellied Brent, which I luckily managed to pick up on camera.

On arrival at the hide we were informed that the Sandpiper had just been seen among a small flock of Dunlin but unfortunately had moved in to an area just out of sight from the hide. Not only this but a few seconds later a Sparrowhawk caused complete havoc and the sky was filled with around C50 Black-tailed Godwit, at least 2000 Golden Plover, 18 Avocet, plus various numbers of Lapwing, Ruff, Wigeon, Pintail and Teal. Fortunately, around 45 minutes later order had been restored and we finally made contact with this 'miniature Dunlin like bird' which seems to scurry around in the traditional style of a Sanderling!

After this eventual success a short drive up the coast to Salthouse for a quick look out to sea and a scan of the surrounding shingle and pools. The sea-watch produced very little of note, the highlights here being Great Black-backed Gull and Guillemot, but the pools and shingle yielded 7 Snow Bunting, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Goldfinch, plus a dozen or so Turnstone and a lone Redshank. A little tip! If the coffee man is in the car park make sure you try one, best coffee I've tasted in years!!

1000's of Pinkies at Holkham
Next, a drive to Holkham and on arrival here the astonishing site of thousands and thousands of Pink-footed Geese, both the sky and fields awash with these astonishing birds. In the surrounding fields we also managed to pick up Common Buzzard and both Red-legged and Grey Partridge.

A walk through the pines and down to the beach and salt marsh gave up Coal Tit and Goldcrest, but unfortunately on arrival at the dunes we'd not been able to make contact with a reported 4 Shore Lark, Skylark, Linnet and Meadow Pipit the best we could muster. Running short on time a brief sea-watch had several Red-breasted Merganser and a group of possible Scoter, too distant to confirm, I'm certain I also had Gannet. The beach had of note, Oystercatcher and around 60 Sanderling.

Grey Partridge
Back near the car park better views of Grey Partridge, plus a lone Ross's Goose, easily identifiable among the Pinkies, being a white goose. A surprise wintering Chiffchaff flitting in and out of a hawthorn as we tried in vain to confirm a distant Buzzard, other surrounding birders adamant it was the local Rough-legged, but not for us!! Too distant for absolute confirmation.

With light fading our final destination of the day was RSPB Tichwell and with Jim desperate to clock the reported Arctic Redpoll we made straight for its last reported position. In conclusion we did manage a lighter bird among a flock of Lesser Redpoll, which a few other birders insisted was the bird, but we've personally recorded it as a probable but unsatisfactory view as they were spooked only minutes after making contact!!

With clear blue sky and a setting sun over Tichwell, the final stage of our Norfolk visit was just brilliant recording: 2 Little Grebe, C500 Golden Plover, Bittern, 3 Spoonbill, 3 Little Egret, 4 Marsh Harrier, Barn Owl, 7 Ruff, Spotted Redshank and my first Norfolk Chinese Water Deer.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Quick Update!

It's just nice to be able to comprise a blog entry without being hammered by force 10 gales, the last 24hrs have been bumpy to say the least, but thankfully it's now starting to abate.

When I arrived at Brandon Marsh this morning to join the works team I decided to go straight to Big Hide, with the wind gusting and the threat of more heavy rain forecast I was taking no chances.

When I arrived at the hide in near darkness Martin Durkin, another Brandon regular, informed me that only minutes before three Otters had passed right in front of him heading right to left. I couldn't believe my ears, you know how it goes, "you should have been here 5 minutes earlier"! Making a quick decision I decided that they were probably heading for the River Avon, which runs the perimeter of the reserve, and that to do this they must pass through Carlton Pool.

There is in fact an inlet between Big Hide and Carlton Hide and so at break neck speed I decided to check here first. Sure enough as Martin came scurrying behind me the three Otters appeared, the sun not yet up it was difficult to make out what the three comprised of before they moved off, but sure enough Otters!!

Settling in at Carlton Hide Martin and I were joined by Mike Lee, another team member who thankfully had his phone switched on, and to our delight the three appeared out of the reeds towards the back of the pool a short while later. A truly amazing 5 minutes watching these incredible mammals determined that this was likely to be a mother and two pups. My first Otters at Brandon, and indeed my first in England! Sadly, no chance of any photographs due to the light so I've posted a library image of some I took earlier this year in Canada!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Bike Birder!

Today's Route
In the spirit of adventure and my new healthy regime I decided to take the new bike for a spin this morning around the local patch before this afternoon's rain arrived.

I actually ended up at Draycote Water some 7 miles later! Although it was the long term plan to achieve this goal I can't believe I did it at the first attempt! I'm certainly suffering now I can tell you.

After setting off from the marina onto the Shuckburgh Road the usual House Sparrow population were in evidence as I turned onto Tomlow Road by Crossroads Garage. I decided to give Napton Reservoir a miss and as I passed the turn off a Kestrel was sitting on the telegraph pole and a Buzzard was enjoying hanging in the wind. The whole area is awash with Fieldfare and Redwing and almost every field has masses of these winter visitors, often accompanied by groups of Starling and the odd Skylark.

Crossing the Grand Union Canal at Callas Lane bridge I paused for a moment to check out some smaller birds in the hawthorn and perhaps get some photos. Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch were all recorded, plus 2 Tree Sparrow, but the light was too poor for any decent shots. Just as I was about to move on a lone Raven flew overhead but my attempts of a decent image proved disastrous.

The worst part of the journey was joining the A426 at Millbank Spinney, where I stopped to seek out a Great Spotted Woodpecker who gave himself up by noisily hacking away high up at the branch of an Oak tree.

Arriving at Draycote, it was a hillier ride than I'd anticipated, the wind had picked up but it remained dry. I decided to head off anti-clockwise along Farborough Bank, picking up a good selection of waterfowl, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Teal, Great-crested and Little Grebe, several pairs of Goldeneye, plus a couple of Gadwall were in amongst the many Coot.

Farborough Spit produced very little apart from around 30+ Lapwing, in fact these were the only waders I saw all day. Sadly I've not yet devised a method of carrying my scope and scanning the islands and central waters proved difficult with just my binoculars. When I eventually arrived at the Valve Tower I met up with Keith Foster, another member of the Brandon team, but between us we couldn't manage anything decent. Plenty of male and female Goosander were sheltering here from the wind, but no sign of the recent Red-breasted Merganser, Iceland or Glaucous Gulls.

Yellow-legged Gull
The cycle home produced hundreds more winter Thrush's and stopping at several fields, where many Gulls were feeding, I did pick out a very attractive looking Yellow-legged Gull. My final bird of note was a stunning Sparrowhawk, which flew alongside me for a good while as I approached the canal bridge on Tomlow Road, before heading off towards a very flighty Finch flock.

I eventually arrived back at the marina a complete wreck, having completed 18 miles in total, but have to say that biking is a great way to bird and I think I may change my twitter account to bikebirder!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year

The Humble House Sparrow
With family and friends taking precedence over birding during the festive period it was great to finally get back out into the field today! A great start too as sitting atop one of the marina telephone poles as I walked to the car, a Little Owl was clearly silhouetted against the brightening sky.

My first stop was Brandon Marsh and looking at the weather forecast for the week ahead I probably picked the best day, a chilly start with clear skies, something we don't seem to see much of these days.

A check from the road bridge looking across Sheepfield before entering the reserve produced an early Kestrel but sadly no Owls. Passing the Sheepfield gate a Song Thrush was happily singing and 5 Jackdaw passed overhead. New Hare Covert had 5 long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Jay and Great Spotted Woodpecker, and by the time I reached the Newlands bench 2 Raven came cronking over and several Feildfare, Siskin, Goldfinch and Redwing had also been recorded.

As I approached the Wright Hide a Buzzard was seen taking flight from New Hare Covert, and a small wader was in flight along with the circa 500 Lapwing flock, which had been spooked by a Sparrowhawk seen heading east. A scan from within the hide confirmed 3 Dunlin and also recorded on East Marsh Pool were 14 Wigeon, 4 Pochard and a pair of Goldeneye. Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Teal were in good numbers plus a lone Great Crested Grebe, my first at Brandon for some time. Mixed in with around 150 Black-headed Gulls was a single Herring Gull, 3 Common Gull and 2 Lesser Black Backed.

At Big Hide I managed to pick up 8 Snipe, camouflaged nicely on Wigeon Bank in the short reed near the waters edge. On my return to the car 4 Lesser Redpoll were feeding on the Alder near the volunteers car park.

This afternoon Dee and I cycled around the local patch which was alive with literally hundred's of Fieldfare. A Kestrel was perched near the turn towards Napton Reservoir and Stockton Road held around 25 House Sparrows as we approached the Crossroads Garage. A brief view of 5 of the marina's Tree Sparrow population and a lone Yellowhammer as we cycled back down the path towards our mooring.

Some excellent views of the International Space Station as it headed east around 16:55 ended an excellent day.