Friday, 4 July 2014

Another First of the Month - on the 3rd

Thursday July 3

We were both awake before the alarm. Even after watering the greenhouse and the newly sown carrots, we were away by 5.40 a.m. on what was promised to be the hottest day of 2014 so far. Not where we were, not yet anyway, we both had to don an extra layer to walk to Abbey Farm Hide. 
Apart from 3 Jays, Tree Sparrows, Barn Owl  and a Buzzard, the drive to Flitcham was both uneventful in variety and quantity of birds. Our faithful Grey Wagtail male was not on his usual wire perch near Ebridge but the pair showed at Sculthorpe Mill. Still no sign of any Spotted Flycatchers at the Mill - Bob hasn't seen them either - a singing Lesser Whitethroat was good.
Kingfisher sightings appear fairly regularly from Abbey Hide over the last few weeks. Not whilst we're there. No Little Owls to-day either. The vegetation is both lush and very tall, obscuring the roosting hole and everything not on the pools or in the trees. A lone Teal flew in and a 'Browncap' perched near the hide. No more activity with breakfast.
Will we ever stop driving around Wolferton Triangle? Just the once to-day, sighting a Coal Tit for the list.
No need to stop for the Fulmar at Hunstanton cliffs, it was a drive past. An earlier view spot had proved that the sea was empty of birds, even the gulls had gone off somewhere. 
The 'NOA members with a key'  hide at Redwell Marsh, is a very pleasant place to sit and scan. Coots and Moorhens feeding young, Swallows swooping down to skim surface insects, a secretively diving Little Grebe, the distant chacking of church tower Jackdaws and the closer distinctive peewit call of a Lapwing. The single Cormorant lumbered off like a Lancaster bomber, before moving gracefully away.
NOA car park hide - another key only - was Black-headed Gull metropolis to-day. We didn't stay long before going on to investigate the recently opened cafe at the Firs NWT centre. First impressions were of a very pleasant,  light and airy,  sitting area, viewing the feeding station and (obscured) the marsh over the Broadwater. I had a dishwater weak hot chocolate, very similar to the one at the Cley Centre. I shan't be repeating that here either. Pam enjoyed her coffee and the cake was pleasant if expensive. The snack menu looked both more attractive and reasonably priced. e.g. egg on toast, beans on toast, bacon roll for £3 -£4.
In increasing heat with a gusting wind, we walked as far as Island Hide at Titchwell, adding 15 species to the list, including 6 black summer plumage Spotshanks and six Spoonbills. The gleaming, red-gold heads of two sleeping drake Red-crested Pochards, showed on a far island. Why couldn't they have shown for Penny and Martin last week? That's birding. No better views of Beardies though - they were much less vocal too.
Little Terns at Both Brancaster and Burnham Overy Staithe before the drive to Cley where a Pectoral Sandpiper had been reported on Pat's Pool. Part of the way out to Pat's Hide,  a man we know by sight, said that it was only in view from Daukes Hide. That was a step too far.
Parking at Salthouse, hoping for an ice-cream, we decided that it was the 'wrong' van. This was the Mr Whippy type ice-cream which we don't like. A lucky stop though. I noticed a Peregrine appear from the beach near Gramborough Hill, then flying strongly towards us and away inland.
After ten hours in the field, I was tired but happy with our total of 83. I didn't see a Pheasant all day............
Earlier this week, Pam found and we both photographed, an insect in the garden. I posted my pic on FaceBook and Dawn Balmer of the BTO kindly ID'd it.

Longhorn Beetle Rutpela maculata

No comments:

Post a Comment