It got even better when one of two Skylarks flew over and suddenly my NH year list rose to 97 and my October list to 54. In fact it was better than that because this was a life tick for me at NH having never seen one here before.
In between further flyovers of thrushes and various finches we heard the unmistakeable pinging of at least one, possibly two Bearded Tits, seeming to come from within the sunken marsh, fantastic!
The only disappointment was that we were unable to see them despite constant scanning across the marsh. It seems that they too were flying over as opposed to in the reed beds because we heard the calls disappearing up river roughly SE. Shame really because a sighting would have been number 98 for the year, but never mind this is a good record having only ever seen one here before in May last year.
In between all the excitement a Kingfisher, one of three seen today, flew upstream calling loudly and a few Mistle Thrushes rattled to each other as they passed over. It was at this point that I left Jerry and moved on up the path only to return five minutes later to alert him to a Common Seal, pictured badly below, which was loafing about near the far bank. We spent a bit of time watching him play for a while with a Flounder he'd caught, before he finally ate it and moved off upstream. I've seen a Seal along here a couple of times in the past but it always seems bizarre to me to be out walking inland and see one of these superb marine creatures swimming alongside me in the river. A quartet of Little Grebes completed the splendid picture before I made my way along to the East Scrub.
The only bird of note seen here was a male Sparrowhawk which glided nonchalantly over the scrub setting off all the alarms as he went.
It was here also that I saw Den & Doreen and as time was running short I headed back with them, retracing my steps past Abbey Mead lake where we spotted three Pochard at last, the first i've seen on this lake this Autumn. Back along the river we managed to see a couple of Teal, two Swallows and a Kestrel among the more usual suspects. Bullfinches were also heard but not seen unfortunately as I need this bird for my October list. But never fear, a last minute single Jackdaw stepped up and saved the day bringing the list to a creditable 55. I ended this great morning optimistically wondering if a 60 might be on the cards by the end of the month!!
Finally, on 13th October I posted a picture of a fungi species which was identified by a couple of my fellow bloggers as an immature Parasol Mushroom. It was still there today so I thought I'd post a second picture of it as a mature Parasol Mushroom.