Monday, 2 June 2014

Not Such a Big Day

Sunday June 1

Going birding at 5.15 a.m. after two hours sleep does not augur well for a big list. Various parts of both of us are very painful at the moment too. Couple of old crocks - the spirit remains strong.
Such a beautiful early summer morning, it was a pleasure to drive through the countryside on near empty roads. We had seen 40 species by the time we reached Flitcham. Grey Wagtail at Ebridge, Tree Sparrows at Valley Farm Lane. Our gamekeeper friend came to talk to us, he will now recognise our different car. Too early for the Red Kites he told us about, not for the  Buzzard hopping about in the ploughed field at the top of the lane, looking for breakfast worms. What an undignified meal and hunting method for a raptor.
Still no sighting of a Spotted Flycatcher at Sculthorpe Mill, we must spend more time here and make a concerted search. 
One Little Owl from Abbey hide, not much else. Much of the view was hampered by mist rising from the ground, lending an ethereal quality to the blue sky scene.
One Gannet off Hunstanton Cliffs -  it needed two passes to get Fulmars rising along the edge.
Bob C was standing at the newly filled bird feeders near his caravan,  on the Holme NNT road. He left the owner and came to have a chat. There had been Turtle Doves at the feeders before they were filled !! Bother. He'd seen a male Garganey at Redwell the evening before too but 'nothing much around, the place is empty'. We walked the Paddocks area without any luck but heard Turtle Dove purring as we approached Redwell Marsh hide. And as we left........couldn't see it though.
Pam noticed a large patch of Orchids on the landward side of the track to the Centre. These are purple rather than the pink of Marsh Orchid, have a smaller flower head and a shorter stem. What are they? Must look them up. They were a much darker colour than this in reality and really did look purple !! My editing suite has compensated too much for the dark green background.
I've decided that they are probably Marsh Orchids after all.............

As we neared the end of the track on the way out, a Turtle Dove made a display flight, landing in the top of a well leafed tree. Great. 
It was a 6 foot tide this morning, it was at its height when we got to Thornham, hence full creeks and no waders. We even gave Titchwell a miss to-day, driving to Choseley Barns for a birdless Brunch.
What chance Brancaster Staithe on a sunny Sunday at high tide with its myriad boating enthusiasts? It was empty of parked cars at the end where we view. Amazing. Adding the delightful sprite-like Little Terns and the - by comparison - sturdier Common Tern, we decided to make our way home. At mid-day? Unheard of. No wonder we ended up with a list of only 77.
Maybe a dry Black-headed Bunting would give us better views. Greeted by Dot,  Steve  and their friend JP, we stood chatting until I'd had enough standing and left. The bird appeared 'showing well' half an hour after we'd left......
Perhaps the Golden Orioles would play ball, Bob had seen them yesterday. We managed 45 minutes here before giving up. Will try again early morning later in the week.
Home to water plants, dig potatoes and mull over missed birds.

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