November salt marsh

By the start of November the salt marsh is losing its colourful autumn attire and taking on a browner more wintery feel. Nevertheless there is still a hint of that sumptuous, darkly rich, wine red on the stems of sea aster. This red mingles with the drifts of bleach blonde grass, a wonderful sight.

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Whilst the flora may be dying back for winter the salt marsh wildlife is coming alive. Hundreds of migrating birds have arrived.  But so has the sparrow hawk and is chasing the newly arrived dunlin.

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Redshank numbers increase at this time of year. I arrrived pre-dawn so it was still too dark to see the redshank but I could hear them.   The chorus of redshanks by Portishead Lock Gates gave me a rousing welcome.

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It is always exciting to see snipe, one of my favourite waders. I love the texture of oil pastels on top of watercolours in this little sketch of a snipe and middle bouy.

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Once upon a time it was a rarity to see roe deer during daylight hours here. But now I see them regularly. By November they have traded their glossy russet summer coats for a browner/greyer livery.

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A busy morning for a tug giving the shipping a helpful nudge into Royal Portbury Dock. Meanwhile a roe buck browses on the sea aster.

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In early November there are still some greens to be seen – as here on top of Denny Island.

More November sketches to come . . . .

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