I headed to NO hoping that the stormy weather might have brought something in. I had to dodge the showers and at one stage got caught in a torrential downpour of hail. An Avocet on the scrape from DL’O hide was my first for NO and 69 Shoveler was my highest count here. I always scan the fence line and it was great to watch a Merlin sheltering in the lee of a fence post. This view looks south east so straight into the winter morning sun and so initially she wasn’t much more than a silhouette. When the clouds came over the Merlin ‘appeared’ from the dark shadows, it was brilliant to see all her subtle detail before she dashed off purposefully like a miniature Peregrine. After a coffee in the car I headed off towards the beach. The Dartford Warbler had moved further west almost to the beach gate and this time I managed to get a few record shots. The sea was quiet other than adult and 1st winter Mediterranean Gulls flying west.
There appeared to be a new arrival of Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes but nothing more unusual. A pair of Redpoll called as they flew over but there were no hirundines today. The long distance view over the scrapes from the gate to the south produced 2 Spotted Redshank in a place where they are hidden from DL’O. While stood at the gate an impressive Goshawk powered over the mouth of the river and then over the fields south of B Water. A Little Grebe dived in the river mouth while the lingering Sandwich Tern drifted over.