Friday, 17 April 2015

No Sue - Our Choice

Friday April 17

We were due to take Sue out birding to-day, until she phoned with bad news about her father. He's had a stroke and is still in hospital so she's on 'dad duty'. What should we do? Go out of course.
Leaving Choseley Barns and driving towards Titchwell we found our own Ring Ouzel. She dropped down into the field from the hedge, we moved for a better view and she disappeared.
After checking the book at Titchwell, Pam suggested walking the Meadow Trail - after she'd caught up with me when I was only just past the turning. We'd heard Blackcap, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff in the car park and, that's all we heard on the trail to Fen Hide. Fen Hide needs an injection of birds to become interesting. The seats are comfortable though and it was good to shelter from the biting easterly wind. A beautiful looking sunny day  too.
I stuck it out on the bench behind Patsy's Pool screen for longer than was comfortable - and sensible. All the usual ducks and a Little Grebe was the reward plus the booming of a male Bittern from somewhere to our right.  Time for a hot drink and a move elsewhere.
We hadn't bothered with Redwell Marsh  for some time. Very few birds present and a  lot of water leaving no muddy edges for waders. The enjoyable highlight was a superb male Marsh Harrier quartering the pool reedbeds. I didn't have a camera.....
Holme entry road saw the first Wheatears of the day. Three birds in a roadside pasture. A male flew into a tree my side of the road so I took some photos. I still had my 1.5 X extender on so the enlargements are not as sharp as they should be.

NOA Broadwater Hide was sheltered from the wind - as long as the end window was shut. Pochard, Avocet, Canada Geese, 

Tufted Duck and Black-headed Gulls on the water soon exhausted interest. The marsh opposite was more interesting. Brent Geese, and 20+ Yellow Wagtails, which were feeding amongst the herd of bullocks. We never did get a clear view because of the hawthorn hedge and rough tussocky field but, now and again, the Wagtails rose into the air en masse before settling again.
I had my camera this time, so, when another male Marsh Harrier flew along the opposite bank, I managed two photographs.

Abbey Farm was pretty birdless too, until Pam found a Little Owl huddled in the base of the oak tree, looking like a part of the bark surrounding it.The warmth of the car was very welcome.
Not the best and most productive of birding days, enhanced by some lovely experiences.

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