It's been rather quiet on the moth front all month, and even the other night when I thought things might improve, only a single Spruce Carpet was caught.
This morning a few birds seemed to be on the move with a flock of 15 Grey Lag Geese over, followed by 2 Redwing, then 5 Curlew.
I had a spare hour this afternoon and popped down into the Riverside Park. The water levels are still high and the play area is still flooded. Within minutes of getting to the river I noticed an animal's head in the water. My immediate reaction was Otter even though I haven't seen one down here for a while but it was too large. A better look when it resurfaced confirmed by second thought of a Common Seal. I assume it must have come up with the levels being so high enabling it to get over the weirs and upstream. Whilst I was watching it I was told it first appeared last Wednesday, this seemed to be confirmed by other first sightings on that day, though a fisherman said there were three present and have been for a year! It appeared quite tame and certainly curious. As I walked along the river it followed me down for several 100 metres with its head out of the water, watching me all the time. With it's labrador-like head it was like taking a dog for a walk.
|The not camera-shy Common Seal|
Also present today and I suspect in this case, this is the first sighting of the winter, the Whooper Swan that winters here with the Mute Swans and summers near York where it was rung.
|The Whooper is back again with his rusty head|
A few Goosanders also present including a young male with the green head feathers just starting to appear, swimming with the Mallards. A party of Long-tailed Tit and 2 Goldcrest were in the riverside scrub on the far bank.