Suffolk Coastal Reserves Blog - October 2020

Suffolk Coastal Reserves Blog - October 2020

Sarah Groves

October brought wet and windy weather along with some fine autumn arrivals and a spectacular starling murmuration.

It has been a wet and blustery month at times with both Storm Alex and Barbara respectively keeping our wardens on their toes clearing up the aftermath across several of our coastal reserves. Yet mother nature’s energy aside, it has certainly been a month blessed with some fine autumn arrivals.

At Hen Reedbeds the starlings have been congregating in their tens of thousands throughout the better part of the month where they come to roost and perform their majestic aerial display known as a ‘murmuration’. Normally 4.00pm is a good time to catch them at Wolsey Creek on the estuary side of the reserve - just as dusk draws in.

Keep your eyes peeled in the more open, muddy and damp margins of the reserve where snipe and jacksnipe have started to turn up. A good spot generally being from the Wang Marshes viewing platform that has also this month had some surrounding scrub removed (on a successional basis) that in turn has opened the landscape up. Numbers of waders across the estuary have also been increasing with dunlin, ringed plover, curlew and redshank all present. A hen harrier was also noted crossing the estuary on the 13th of the month.

Our British white cattle have now left the reedbeds for their winter haunts at Church Farm and our ponies had one of their regular pamper sessions where hooves were trimmed and burrs duly removed from manes and tails.

At Dingle Marshes a barred warbler was spotted on Dingle Hill on the 17th and a raven was seen south over the Marshes on the 28th. Sizeable flocks of twite were also sighted throughout the month.

Fieldfares and redwings have started to arrive upon our shores, and in good numbers too. You’ll be unlucky not to find them most days at the moment gorging on autumn fruits amongst the hedgerows and scrubby patches at either Church Farm or Darsham Marshes.

And finally, with the onset of autumn, October has been a fantastic month for fungi across our reserves. Key sites being Reydon Woods and Darsham Marshes. Be on the lookout for the likes of fairy inkcap, fly agaric, milking bonnet, yellow mustard polypore, candlesnuff fungus, jelly ears and many, many more!