Having spent a lot of time at the computer this week......Solway Blog, followed by the Bird Club Newsletter, we decided to go out birding for a couple of hours. A lovely, warm(9C) and sunny day, only a chiropodist appointment prevented a full day out.
Ludham Marsh was again devoid of Cranes, probably establishing their breeding areas.
Pam could see an owl-sized shape in a Hawthorn from her side of the car, so changed position so that I could scope without getting out and disturbing the bird. Looking into the sun and at full magnification, I saw two Short-eared Owls huddled in the densest part of the tree. Both birds eventually flew towards the river bank and hunted along the raised ground which holds the Abbey ruins. Disappointingly, they never came close enough to photograph.
The herd of Swans at the track entrance has diminished considerably. Migration? The 200+ Bewick's have become a group of about 30 Mute, Whooper and Bewick, Whoopers the largest in number. I counted 16 of them but many had their heads tucked away. Only 20 Fieldfare too, making their restless and wild-flying way from tree perching to ground and back again.
Two male Reed Buntings, Chaffinches and Blue Tits using the puddles near the barn, the usual mixed group of Stock and Feral Doves on top of the outbuilding roof. A lone Buzzard in the Womack Staithe area.
Winterton Beach yielded a half dozen Gannets and nothing else of note, we didn't stay long. So many cars parked on the roadside where it says 'No parking on Verges'.
The owner's (Burnley Hall Estate) plans to log the wood on the North Dunes, make an access road to do so and then extend it to the concrete blocks at the far end to make parking place for the would be seal watchers, is causing a stir. Some Club members ring in the woods and, both the logging and making access easier for visitors, will cause much disturbance to an area which has seen many good birds, e.g Black Lark.
The Caister Holiday camp owned dune area south of Caister Second Avenue is currently being bull-dozed and cleared. No hope of intervening.
Apart from Corvids, the Somerton/Horsey Mill area was devoid of birds to-day. Not even a Marsh Harrier showing.
Will Man U manage a win this weekend? Will we beat Sri Lanka in the World Cup? Not confident of either. Nor Wales playing France at the Stade de france this afternoon......
I used to be an optimist !