Sunset starlings

I went again to Cley this afternoon: I suppose I’m hoping that something particularly exciting will turn up out to sea, such as a skua, and Cley is one of the places close by where it’s easy to get to the shore. Sadly there was nothing unusual today, and there were generally fewer birds passing through at the beach, though still plenty of razorbills and the odd gannet, and I did see a guillemot.

I’m starting to see more Brent geese, probably (with the possible exception of red-breasted) my favourite goose, and there were the usual large numbers of wigeon and teal. With about half an hour of daylight left I popped over to the central hides as the sun would be at my back: The light was lovely and lots of birds were coming in to roost for the night. In amongst the main gull roost were a new record number (for me) of cattle egrets – 16!

View from one of the hides at Cley with about 8 of the cattle egrets in view amongst three or four gull species

It was also good to see a fairly large murmuration of starlings again, whizzing around and sometimes settling on one of the islands. As I left the hide, now facing the sunset, they were about to settle down for the night in the reedbed.

Starlings preparing to roost at Cley (above and below)

Brenda writes: “There was a bit of a recovery in the moth trap today with green brindled crescent, light brown apple, black rustic and large ranunculus out and about again….. and…..wait for it…..two large yellow underwings! In the flower department the number of species I’m recording that are still in flower is dwindling, but there’s the occasional surprise like the green alkanet I found among the undergrowth in Wells churchyard today.”

No new species for October 17th:

Birds = 223
Moths = 250
Wildflowers = 289