Monday, 2 April 2012

Not a Fool's Day

Sunday April 1st
I did fool Pam though, I always do......
We left home soon after 6 a.m - after clearing the frost from the windscreen and windows - amassing over 40 sp by Abbey Farm hide. This included a hunting Barn Owl near Harpley and another, dead, on the road within a few miles.
Bigger puddles at Abbey and many Grey Partridges, little else.
We've never seen as much mud at Snettisham. The tide was at its very nadir and the lowest of the low, checking the table there were none lower all year. We didn't stay long.
A bitingly cold wind, we decided to pass by Holme after the usual two ticks at Hunstanton. The latter was notable for at least 120 Fulmar in view, nearly all sitting on the sea in big flotillas. I wish I'd thought to photo them...
Titchwell was productive as always. We walked the Fen Trail first, seeing three Blackcaps and hearing probably more. The sun was lovely by now so we sat and scoped the Freshmarsh pool for an hour or so. Not many waders but excellent raptors. We added Red Kite and Sparrowhawk  high over the marsh to the west, missed a Merlin causing havoc to the gull flock (which included two Yellow-legged Gulls) excellent views of it on our return walk as it flew across in front of us.
Ray Kimber told us that the sea and beach were empty so we didn't walk any further.
Choseley Barns for.....yet more Yellowhammers....then inland to Sculthorpe. We'd visited the Mill and seen two Grey Wagtails this morning,  the HOT reserve wasn't open and Pam needed to collect a fleece from there.
Directly to Cley Beach car park, missing out most of our coastal stopping points to-day. Pam lunched there and I sat with my window open on the lee-side, scanning Eye Field. Two Spoonbills on Billy's Wash, discernible in the haze by their size and bill-sweeping feeding action. A call had us both leap out of the car to see three Sandwich Terns beat through, flying west along the sea towards Blakeney Point.
The ice-cream van was there........
We were home mid afternoon, having added 82 species on a shorter and less inclusive day than usual. We wished we'd walked at Sculthorpe.
A fox, dead Badger (!) Stoat, Chinese Water Deer and many Hares were also seen. Great.

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