Monday March 26
Written on the 27th - too late in from a birding and then GYBC Bird Club some excellent photos of Menorcan birds and wildlife from Peter R.
We arrived at Weeting NWT before 9 a.m. and then escorted to the hide by The Major who is increasingly hard of hearing. He did have a Stone Curlew lined up for us... a head and shoulders (if you were tall enough) in the far right hand corner. Fortunately Pam then spotted one walking along the ridge near the shed at the back of the field. Excellent scope views considering the usual heat haze here. Surprising really as we had to clear frost off the car windows this morning and our lawns were white. It wasn't mist rising off the grass either.
The Majot then led me back to the car after asking me to look at a stretch of rotivated land in the area opposite the centre. A pair of 'our' Stone Curlews had nested there last year, on English Nature property - and the warden hadn't believed him when told that they were sitting on eggs. They hatched 4 and they all survived to migrate.
Pam was sat on the back of the car eating her breakfast by now. he then told us how lucky we'd been. In common with the Suffolk area, very few birds have returned and he'd only seeen 4 at Weeting, two still around.
We debated Olley's Farm but decided on Mayday. It's a nerve to signpost a Hide, it's a roughly woven willow fence with a few gaps in it where you stand and peer. A rougher version of the one at Tulloch Moor for Black Grouse viewing. I've never yet found one which has viewing slits at the right height for either Pam nor I. It's tiptoe or crouch!
We heard two Woodlarks here, I saw a head on the ground. We both saw one later on, singing from the tree above our heads. How can they be so hard to see in a bare tree? Myriads of overlapping twigs and basically brown birds is why.
We trudged for a while, seeing a pair of Buzzards rise which caused a momentary surge of hope. We haven't seen Goshawks here for some time and part of the trail was closed off to-day. Tree cutting going on. We also had immensely loud aircraft noise from Mildenhall to contend with. Constantly taking off and landing, after burners roaring and crackling as they flew overhead. Most unpleasant.
A quick visit to St Helen's picnic ground, many small children and dogs, Nuthatch calling and drive home.