Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Lovely Day - Lovely Birds

Tuesday April 14

The day began with a moth-ing session at Natural Surroundings, Bayfield Hall.. A little late arriving, we found a dozen people already there, many more than previous weeks. A few different species to-day, Water Carpets and two species of Pug. A Lead-coloured Drab was new too. The latter caused a lot of debate as it was a female. The male has feathered antennae which distinguishes it from Clouded Drab which is common.
Too lovely a morning to spend time in the cafe, we made our farewells and drove to Choseley Farm where we took a different road east in order to access Chalkpit Lane. Why? Six Dotterel, one of my very favourite birds, remained in the large spring wheat field. A narrow lane with no room to park except by pulling off the lane onto the field verge, avoiding the crop.I saw the birds as soon as we stopped, three beautiful females and three dull males. There were 9 birds last night. Two foolish birders (male) left their cars to set up scopes and the birds moved further down the field before hunkering down, becoming brown lumps in a largely brown field. I tried some photographs - ever hopeful - not good results but the first time I've managed to get any sort of image.

Male Dotterel

Female at the front - very enlarged

Elated, we drove to Holme NWT . As we drove, news came through of a male Redstart in the NWT car park. Not whilst we were there, no-one else saw it either. We walked through the NOA reserve and climbed the steps onto the seawards public footpath, scanning the pines. Eventually, after finding several silent Willow Warblers, a Firecrest with its accompanying Coal Tit briefly appeared. They're such active little birds.It was singing when reported , completely silent for us.
After a late meal in the car park, it was time to visit Melton Constable to stock up on bird food - lots of it - and drive home to check on the cricket. Unfortunately, this car does not have Long Wave and Test Match Cricket commentary.
A pleasure to be out day. 17C and cloudless skies by the afternoon with two lovely birds.

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