Thursday, 1 October 2015

Oct 1st Ranworth Broad

Ranworth Broad
Went for a short walk at Ranworth with my parents this afternoon. There were more dragonflies than birds, but it gave me a chance to play around with my camera for a while, capturing the sights and colours of autumn.

Common Darter
Male (left) and female (right) Common Darters
Migrant Hawker playing Peek-a-boo!
Autumn colour
Though only a few patchs on some of the trees were starting to turn from green to yellows, reds and browns, there were a few smaller shrubs, like guelder rose bushes, that provided the full colour show. The autumn colour is still at its early stages of development, but it won't be long until every tree and the ground below them to be full of colourful leaves. Every horse chestnut tree along the road leading to the reserve are now brown, but brown with leaf blotch disease. It is a sad sight that has occured for the last few years across the country and is caused by an infestation of a particular species of leaf miner moth caterpillar. They eat the leaves within the structure of each leaf (rarther than crawling around the surface) and it creates these blotches, making the leaves appear dead towards the end of July. So far, this disease has not caused further problems or killing the tree and once the leaves are shed, new ones appear next year.

Horse Chestnut with Leaf Blotch Disease in foreground with healthy leaves in background
Healthy Horse Chestnut leaves showing autumn colour
A splash of red from Guelder Rose
Some kind of bracket fungus
Herb Robert (I think)
Great Crested Grebe
With the visitor centre now closed for the winter, we had no choice but to look out over the broad from the boardwalk outside. In fairness, there weren't much to see. The terns and swallows are now gone and the colourful crests of the great crested grebes has started to fade away into a winter plumage. The cormorants have taken over the tern nesting platforms and a lone marsh harrier patrols over the broad's surface in the far side of the lake. Apart from them and some black-headed gulls and gadwalls, there was little else about. A sign that winter is not too far away now.

Black-headed Gull
Marsh Harrier

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