Saturday, 13 April 2013

A Week's Round-up....

Tuesday April 9th

A lovely sunny day which we thoroughly enjoyed .......seeing one bird for the year.  
We were looking for Stone Curlew. The first area was full of pig fields with many suitable fields where SCs had been seen last weekend. None to-day. Next stop, Weeting, where the warden in his Blog had reported two birds. The Major ( we now know he's called Rocky!) emerged from his shed to greet us, telling us that our journey was ion vain, the warden was telling porky pies. Perhaps I read last year's news on the NWT website.......He's a mine of information though. 
On to Pentney Gravel Pits for a quickly seen Little Ringed Plover. None of the hoped for hirundine.
We returned via the north coast where it gradually clouded over, without adding anything else.

Wednesday April 10th
Barton Broad platform at the end of the boardwalk was like being in the Arctic. A very strong wind blew straight in across the water. All birds were huddled against the very distant reeds, trying to find shelter. A lone adult Little Gull in lovely summer plumage flew, dipping, across the broad.

Thursday April 11

Early for our caravan meeting - changed from Minsmere as it was pouring down - we drove to Dunwich clifftop. What luck. As we approached the coastguard cottages, a pair of Stonechats appeared on the seaward side and then, a male Dartford Warbler on top of a bush on the landward side. He posed for quite a while, long enough for us to see a female  flit in to the back of the bush. Brilliant.

Saturday April 13

After collecting the mower from Anglia Mowers in Beeston, we carried on to Weybourne hoping that the three day stayer hadn't gone overnight. Parking at the entrance to the Muckleburgh collection, I scoped the nearby field to no avail. We then saw a couple of people viewing from low down Muckleburgh Hill. Striding along the road, Steve Gantlett slowed to tell us that he thought it had gone as he hadn't seen it. Undaunted, we walked the lower path, meeting the scoping couple who told us that they'd seen it.
So did we. Two Blackbirds, a Mistle Thrush and a male Ring Ouzel. He was feeding in the open allowing great views, but into the sun,  so I didn't attempt any pics. I didn't have my camera either.....!
Back at the car, another slowed to ask us if we'd seen it and then pointed out a White Wagtail in the near field.
Cardigan only to-day, a temperature of 15C at last
Salthouse Beach Road
Julian provided us with a hot drink whilst we watched Sand Martins flying on the sea side of Gramborough Hill. I had two fly over the car whilst Pam was getting the drink.
Cley Beach
A regular passage of Sandwich Terns flying towards Blakeney Point was a joy.
The Savages and another couple we know told us of Wheatears in the Eye Field almost to North Scrape. There was also a Garganey on the scrape.
Trudging the gravel, glad to reach the grassy path, we walked almost as far as the hide to the mole hill area. Three female Wheatears dashed and perched, as is their wont, feeding on the rough pasture beyond the mole hills.
Chiffchaffs calling all over the place to-day.
Home for a sespite - Pam tried out the mower actually, I rested! She was delighted with how easily it started and what a good job it made of the grass mowing. It looks almost new too.
Next visit...
Barton Broad.
By now, it was overcast and the wind had increased, as forecast.
Scanning from the platform, up to a hundred Hirundine fed low over the water. Impossible to count accurately, so fast and active. Most of them were Sand Martins, the others Swallows. Twenty - 30 Common Terns were also avidly feeding along the far shore along with two Little Gulls and a Goldeneye. I could not find the reported Scaup nor the lone House Martin seen by a birder we met on the way in. He'd also had a Willow Warbler there and Jack Snipe, Woodcock, Redstart and Black Redstart and Wheatears at Winterton North Dunes this morning. He'd worked for them and deserved it.
Our first Cetti's burst into ear-splitting song as we left the platform in increasingly cold conditions.

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