October

This can be a stormy month and it may be a good time to look along the shore for unfortunate marine life washed up: seaweed, starfish, sea mouse, crabs, mermaid’s purses and much more.

Along the Beach Reserve there will be large flocks of seed eating birds feeding on the seeds of plants such as yellow-horned poppy, sea pea and sea kale. These flocks are mostly of linnets with smaller numbers of goldfinch, greenfinch, meadow pipit and reed bunting.

Around the pits and in the saltmarsh channels there will be fishing little egrets, but also check for the occasional great white egret or spoonbill. The flocks of roosting lapwing and golden plover should be increasing and other waders like ruff may be in amongst them. Duck numbers will continue to increase on the shingle pits, with a variety of species including wigeon, shoveler, teal and gadwall. This is a good month to look for the bearded tit in reedbeds at Castle Water.

Most summer migrants have left by mid month, but usually a few swallows, house martins, chiffchaff and wheatear linger on and this is the best month to see ring ouzel. Other migrant passerines passing through may include firecrest, black redstart and quite possibly the odd rarity such as yellow-browed warbler.

Winter visitors arriving may include short-eared owl, merlin and stonechat. Rock pipits will be present around the saltmarsh and river mouth, whilst some passing Brent geese will stop off on the saltmarsh.

If the weather has remained mild there may still be a few insects on the wing. Red admiral and small tortoiseshell may be the most frequently encountered butterflies whereas migrant hawkers and common darters will be the only dragonflies likely to be seen.

Some plants will still be in flower such as common fleabane, scarlet pimpernel, yellow horned-poppy and red valerian. In the saltmarsh sea aster, sea purslane and sea wormwood will be flowering .