It’s a good day for a walk in mid September, in the middle of an Indian summer with temperatures in the mid to upper 20’s. We decided to head out for the day along the north Norfolk coast. First stop a visit in the morning to Holkham Hall and a walk around the lake. At Holkham it’s almost guaranteed that a large heard of Fallow deer, the most social of our deer, will be gathered on the meadow area. At this time of year the bucks are just readying themselves for the rutting season. We made our way down to the lake. There was a lot of noise with the bucks barking and grunting as they were charging around gathering the does into their harems.
Holkham Hall Park
Although not yet fully into rutting the bucks seemed to be gathering at the edge of a group of does. Many who were still suckling this years fawns and making the most of the September sunshine. The walk around the lake to check out the birds and the nature trail produced views of a number of Great Crested Grebes still feeding this year’s brood. Together with a number of little grebes with chicks in tow. It was still fairly early in the day but the warm weather had brought out the dragonflies. This provided us with opportunities to get some shots of them in flight and mating in the reedbeds at the far end of the lake.
Walking back through the woods we came across number of small groups of does and young bucks grazing in the dappled light.
Back on the open meadow we tried to get some images of the very skittish bucks that seemed to be eyeing up the does The main group seemed less relaxed than we had seen them before as they were now moving off as the buck moved into the group.
Along the coast to Titchwell
After a snack at Holkham we moved along the coast to the reserve at RSPB Titchwell marsh. The good weather had brought out a large number of visitors together with numerous dragonflies. Although getting shots of them in flight proved impossible we did manage to photograph one devouring a beetle after catching it in mid flight.
Already some of our winter bird visitors are arriving although the majority usually turn up in October. There were a number of Dunlin, Godwits, and Ruff on the freshwater marsh.
In among the reeds on the western path a pair of Bearded Tit/Bearded Reedling were showing well attracting a crowd of bird watchers and photographers.
Whilst over at Patsy’s reedbed a Great White Egret, one of two that had been in the area for a couple of weeks, was showing well.