After spending much of this morning locked in the complexity of now and the effort it takes dealing with the bureaucratic hurdles of just keeping a car on the road I was ready for some space this afternoon and a chance to walk for a while. As the dog and I dropped down the path to the beach we appeared to be moving against the crowd, a small but steady stream of people moved in the opposite direction. I guess it was the expanding deep black clouds behind us and the first few drops of rain from it, driving everyone to seek shelter. It was warm and I was coat-less, heading in the opposite direction and embracing the rain felt good. In the event the main rainfall moved out to sea and I stayed reasonably dry.
I was looking again for passage waders on a rising tide south-east of Warkworth; two Greenshanks fed separately either side of the wooden footbridge and at least two Little Egrets were still enjoying their summer hangout in the same area. Further down the estuary Redshank numbers continued to build, up nearly a third on a few days ago with some 233 counted as the tide gently pushed them inland. The muscular frames of four Black-tailed Godwits still towered above the Redshanks and a single Knot seemed to have lost all but the vestiges of summer.
It is often the little things that signal the change of seasons, hint at the days to come. As we rounded a bend in the path the first real glimpse of the onset of autumn passage, a young white-arse skipped from the path side down one of the many grass fringed arteries leading into the dunes. It paused on the short, sandy turf to return our gaze before we moved on.