Sunday, 28 August 2011

Waders and Deer at Levington Creek

Saturday afternoon

With showers threatening we parked up thinking it wouldn't be too far to walk back if it turned wet.  As it was the sun came out and there were some marvellous cloud-scapes.  The rain came later when we were in the supermarket, followed by a brilliant double rainbow.

A flock of Canada geese were in the stubble field beside the track together with a number of lapwing.  A small herd of deer then emerged from the scrub and long grass which led to much discussion of their identity.  They were very dark, much too dark I thought for fallow.  They included a young male with simple spiked antlers, and 3 females with half grown young.

Fallow deer in the stubble field

However I was wrong, as examination of my photo later showed the long tails, and also some spots on their backs.  It seems fallow come in a number of colour forms, and these are of the dark or melanistic type -as opposed to the white ones I am familiar with from Houghton Park in Norfolk.

The tide was out showing a large extent of mud, and in the creek there were more lapwing, lots of black-headed gulls already without their black heads for the winter, and a few black-tailed godwit.  Where the creek meets the river Orwell there were good numbers of curlew, redshank, b-t godwit and a very nice flock of golden plover.  I estimated about 100 on the ground, but when they all took off and had a fly around there must have been nearer 400.  Some still had vestiges of black from the summer plumage, but not nearly as smart as the 2 grey plovers also there which were still in almost full summer dress.

R Orwell from Levington Creek

I recognised the call of a green sandpiper flying over which went down towards the lagoon, and was visible from the sea wall further along, together with a little egret.  There was no sign of the spotted redshank which had been reported from the creek, but the state of the tide meant that many of the waders were a long way off, down by the waters edge, and there are also many little gullies for birds to hide in so we could easily have missed it.  I made a mental note that next time I would try to time my visit for a rising tide which should push the birds closer.

Levington lagoon

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