Friday, 19 April 2013

Poor Start, Great Middle and End

Friday April 19
We took a friend out birding to-day. She arrives at 8.30 so it's not an early start, not too disappointing considering the outbreaks of rain, overcast sky and the return of a cold easterly wind.
Catching up with news occupied the time spent in travelling to Holme, by which time the raim had stopped, other conditions remained the same.  We walked to Gore Point seeing a few Dunnocks, Magpies and Skylark. a flock of Brent rising and then landing again on the distant marsh.
Walking out to the Broadwater Hide, I heard the first Sedge Warbler of the year, and saw it too, along with a Willow Warbler, in the top of a hawthorn. Still a lot of water in the lake, plenty of Avocets, two Black-tailed Godwits, four Ruff, 2 Redshanks, a pair of Pochard and Mute Swans. Five Marsh Harriers in the air at one time, Curlew dotted around the marsh. Couldn't turn any of them into Whimbrel....
Titchwell is always worth a visit. Several Little Ringed Plovers, about ten White Wagtails flitting about, one dazzlingly bright yellow male Yellow Wagtail amongst them. Lovely birds. More Sedge Warblers, a good VIEW of a pair of Cetti's (amazing), sleeping Bar-tailed Godwits, four sleeping Sandwich Terns and a host of Avocets. A woman from Australia asked for help with ID, always pleasing to help. Ray K said that there was a Grasshopper Warbler and a Whitethroat in an inaccessible part of the reserve !
On an impulse, I suggested that we walk the Fen Trail which paid off. We watched a Reed Warbler and several Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers in the shelter of the smallish pool near Fen Hide. The Reed was exploring the reeds, the Warblers in surrounding trees. On the way to Fen Hide a Blackcap sang in the same area as previous years.
I saw  House Martin at Holkham but no-one else did...everyone saw one at Cley. Four Wheatears near the cattle pens in Eye Field, two of them males. Another 6 near Iron Road and a few more south of the road at Salthouse. Here after much searching in bright sun, hazy conditions and against the light, I found a Whimbrel amongst the Curlew.
A most enjoyable and worthwhile day which ended at home at 5.45. I'd have liked to have seen the male Pied Fly at Horsey, hope it's there to-morrow.

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