The last week of September was spent in Rome sightseeing taking in many of the ancient and baroque sites plus the Villa Borghese which holds many paintings and sculptures. One room held six Caravaggio paintings but none of them roped off etc., I could have touched one easily, very little security, plus plenty of illumination, not displayed in virtual darkness - maybe they know more about such things than we do!
'A Caravaggio' - did you know his 'name Caravagio' is the name of the village he lived in, his real name was not allowed to be used as it was Michelangelo Marisi!
Since getting back I nipped out to see the pallid harrier and pm. 30 minutes at Seasalter just seeing a few gannets and 1 arctic skua before having to attend a kids party!
However, on the 3rd, a proper morning at Seasalter finding 31 egrets, a few wader examples but no big numbers. An unusual large amount of herring gulls milling about just off the outfall and c.90 cormorants plus 15 grebes. The plots were quiet, 2 chiffs, 9 linnets, single blackbird, chaffinch, kestrel but a surprise with a raven honking overhead flying towards Ellenden Wood. A couple of small white butterflies and a southern hawker posed for the camera but very little else.
The white spots on the eyes of the hawker must be reflections of some sort
I moved along to the LNR where I saw c.10 bearded tits on the edge of the reedbed where they were cleaning out the ditches, maybe the disturbance caused them to up and leave but they were the first I have 'eyeballed' this year here. Apart from a few skylarks, 2 reed buntings, 1 swallow and mipits it was again quiet. I could see further west c.250 brents on the mudflats but I didn't go further on.
The best I could do with the beardies, very active, this one with a ring.