Thursday, 5 March 2015

First Migrant Walk

Thursday March 5

Barton Broad is often a good spot for early Terns, Sand Martins and Little Gulls. A little early with unfavourable winds but we needed the exercise. 
A phone call from Australia - the dog, Mojo,  has a knee operation to-morrow and chores made for a late morning start, not the best time. The wet Alder carr flanking the boardwalk was devoid of birds apart from Blackbirds and Chaffinches. 
 Always a chance of seeing fungus here. Bracket fungus to-day.

Accompanied by the familiar dank, smelliness of rotting vegetation in stagnant water, typical of these carrs, we made our way to the platform at the end of the boardwalk. What? Four men of Eastern European origin took up all the benches, not an optic between them. Waiting patiently, we soon saw them off and took up our viewing  position - sitting down. 
Fourteen courting Great Crested Grebes were the highlight. I never get tired of their inflated head crest and cheeks bowing and nodding to each other, sometimes taking up an aggressive flat out head stretching stance to see off another getting too near. No 'dancing' across the water to-day. 
Determined to use my Iphone scope adaptor, I took my first ever photographs using the adaptor I had for my birthday in 2014 !! Previous attempts were aborted due to my having been sold the wrong adaptor. I had a go at the Grebes which refused to keep still......

 More practice needed.
Four Marsh Harriers and a Sparrowhawk rose into the sky from the woods across the broad, a flotilla of Coots swam right in a long line. Why?
Two non English speaking children and their English speaking father arrived, armed with bread to feed the two Mallard and a pair of Mute Swans which quickly arrived. Dad enquired as to what he should call the Gulls also streaming in when the bread appeared. I always appreciate interest, so was happy to tell him that they were all Black-headed Gulls, including the ones with just a head spot.
I heard a Water Rail squeal but not a sound from the usual loud Cetti's present here. Canada Geese, Greylag, Tufted Duck and a single Common Gull were the only other species on view. It was also the warmest time we have spent on this normally wind chilled platform, bliss.

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