Like all estuaries, the bird life here is about to rise dramatically leading up to the colder weather, but for now it's just the regulars who have been with us throughout the year.
The five ducks at the bridge have been there for a couple of years now, racing out of the reeds in an orderly line the minute a bread bag rustles.
Last week we saw changes.
The pair of swans with their two babies had gone. We assumed they were up one of the cuttings in the thick reed beds, but as we looked for them no fewer than seven swans flew up the estuary and landed by the side of the bridge.
We expected the regular pair to show, as they are very territorial, but no sign. We have not seen so many swans there, all look like adults. We left, puzzled.
We returned today,but now there are nine swans. Have the missing pair joined them? Are the babies there as well, with grey feathers replaced by white?
We parked the car on the bridge and ate chips. There was no sign of the Famous Five. We hoped they had not been chased away by the swans, but as we watched people coming and going, it seemed like they had gone for good.
Then someone started feeding the swans, and they drifted to the far side of the bridge. Suddenly we could hear manic quackings from the reed bed, and out they appeared right next to us, following the leader as always!
They had to paddle really hard to reach the other side of the bridge before the bread ran out, but luckily the kind man saw them coming and made sure they got their share, even if it meant some very long throws over the heads of the swans!
The seagulls didn't even bother to compete.
This place is popular with walkers, cyclists and locals just coming to feed the birds. The other side of the bridge has far more reeds and lots of mallards. People stop on the bridge in their cars and just enjoy the view down the wide estuary and the bird activity.
Unfortunately this tranquil scene is frequently spoilt by people sailing small boats or paddling canoes up the estuary from Yarmouth, ignorantly pushing right through the birds, even in the winter when there are huge flocks of wading migrants. They have no regard for either the birds that they disturb, or the birdwatchers and people feeding them on the bridge. They usually tie their boats up to the bridge, completely unaware of their actions, and mostly looking smug as if they are showing off.
As we were watching today we saw what must be the most ridiculous form of entertainment I have ever seen!. A man slowly paddled towards us, standing up on what looked like a surfboard. What fun (not!) He wouldn't even be able to lift a leg without tipping over!
As he came close, the people on the bridge stared at him. I think his intention was to come ashore at the bridge, but the closer he got, the noisier the swans became, and finally he decided to turn round and head back again.
If that's one good thing about the swans, I hope they stay!
What a lovely, sunny day off I've had. Still trying to cling on to my relaxed, holiday mood after my leave, three days back at work not too bad. There's nothing like an early morning cup of tea in the sun with the cats. Well, two of them! Whiskers has to sleep off his night-time activities.
Rolly loves the sun! He's the first one out.
Much easier to take a photo of a bug than Kitty!