Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Specific Birding = No Guarantee

Tuesday March 20
Where should we take Sue to-day? She'd seen Sand Martin, Wheatear and Chiffchaff in Wales (and Choughs and Auks and Dipper and Grey Wag !). Somewhere new to her, Roydon Common, in search of Woodlark. We had an extensive walk, finding two pairs of Stonechats, 2 Wheatears and a dozen Dartmoor ponies. No sound nor sight of the target bird, maybe the latter had disturbed them?
Next new site for Sue, Dersingham Bog, not a regular spring haunt for us, we usually go for Nightjars in the Summer. Such a beautiful - and warm - day, many Siskin buzzing around the plantation as we walked to the John Denver Memorial seat (why here?). A very helpful NARVOS member had his scope trained on the trees across the valley. A handsome red male Crossbill feeding at the very top of a conifer, Pam spotted his green female in the next tree top along. Lovely. During our hour or so there, we saw two Sparrowhawks, several Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Marsh Harrier.The man called Red Kite but, it was out of sight for Pam and I. Sue caught it as it dropped out of sight - and she didn't really care, saw dozens in Wales.
We lunched at Wolferton Triangle where we saw our first Brimstones of the year, such a lovely yellow, before Sue opted for Snettisham as the next site. The tide was on the way in according to the tide table.........Hm. Acres of mud and the workmen and their equipment still there, taking up the first wide parking space. It looked as though they might be nearly finished.

Clouds of Knot and a big flock of Golden Plover gave delight as did a single Goldeneye. I can't resist Avocets, one day I'll get a good photo - but probably not at Snettisham.
Pam drove cross country to Flitcham, might as well have a quick look at Abbey Farm. More water than before, still restricted to pools in the near water. There's a notice on the door now, explaining the dried spring problem.
A pair of Grey Partridges showed superbly in front of the Hide. Pam went off to get my camera and they moved away.......gently, feeding as they went.

Male Grey Partridge, legging it.
As we were preparing to leave, a Little Owl appeared in the usual oak, perched above the nestbox. Are they using it?
A thoroughly enjoyable day - even if we didn't see Woodlark. The NARVOS man hadn't seen any there either. We'll try other sites before we leave for Scotland at the end of April.
Booked our flights and over-night Hotel in Panama City to-day. Exciting. Must start doing my birding homework.

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