Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Birds and Shopping

Tuesday December 20
The title sounds like an idea for a birding tour company....... They already have Birds and Cricket and Birds and Photography.
Such a lovely day after the recent wet gloom. We started at Sculthorpe Reserve, walking to the Woodland Hide first (turn left at the first junction). They've really developed the Education area, fenced it in using rough poles and explained the programme of events for a local Primary. There must have been a dozen mammal traps in a very small area just before the hide. They must have to check them at least once a day, nice job for someone. The hide door was wide open, a volunteer was filling the feeders from a sack stored in the corner. This might have explained the paucity of birds. We didn't stay long, it was cold.
The walk to Whitley Hide was more productive. A mixed flock of Siskin and Goldfinches high in the Alders, two Willow Tits and a Marsh Tit. All three were calling, making identification positive. They looked lovely too.
Much work still going on the other side of the river, brush felling, chewing and spewing - a very noisy piece of machinery. Fresh wood-smoke plumed into the pale blue winter sky.
Us and an assistant warden in Whitley Hide, we could choose our seats. A male Bullfinch was the highlight here, a distant Sparrowhawk perched on the Scrape Hide. no sign of the Water Rail to-day.
Pam noticed a cage with movement as we returned through the Centre. A minute milk chocolate coloured Harvest Mouse had emerged from its haystack cover to feed. Apparently the two became seven this morning, no sign of the babies yet.
After a welcome cup of hot chocolate from the machine, we drove to Swaffham and a Waitrose superstore, Christmas treat ! So much better than the one at Cringleford in our opinion - we went there last Christmas. We bought a splendid looking free range bronze turkey as well as a few other treats, Diet? What diet.......

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