Wednesday, 17 February 2016

After Coffee and a Chat

Tuesday February 16

The moth group continues to meet on Tuesdays at Natural Surroundings - just the moths missing, traps not put out yet. The group present varies but it's always a very pleasant couple of hours. 
Such a beautiful day. - C temperatures overnight produced a heavy frost, another Disneyland winter landscape, some of the trees in the sun thawing into diamond sparkled  twigs. We saw 4 cars in the ditch at Bodham, two each side of the road. An eight car  accident at Thorpe Market too. We saw the police notice as we passed through, explaining the suddenly heavy stream of traffic which had driven towards us earlier. Although the roads were mostly dry, remaining puddles crunched and splintered as cars drove through.
Too lovely a day to go home. Morston was a throng of visitors, many taking boats out to the seals. Lucky. A Greenshank flew from out of sight on the marsh to land on the creek mud away from the people. 
Parking on the verge near a Holkham gated entrance, I walked to a gap in order to scope the marsh. Despite thorough scanning of all white blobs, I only found White-fronted Geese for the month list. Re-scanning from the left, a shout from Pam, still in the car, alerted me to a Great White Egret  flying towards Meals House, long black legs and feet stretched aero-dynamically behind, before dropping out of sight in a far field behind a hedge. Lucky. Well done Pam. It must have been down a ditch.
The pager had reported a Spoonbill at Burnham Overy. We drove to the Staithe first, as two Red-breasted Mergansers flew down the creek. Nothing else - apart from Redshanks that is.
Parking on a field verge just before the mill, I scoped the distant marsh. We were again lucky as the Spoonbill only showed for a short while before disappearing out of sight down a channel.
Choseley was to be the last birding stop. Surprise. No cars at all in the parking area beyond the barns which is a favourite viewing spot for raptor watching.
As soon as we stopped, I saw raptors rise from above the conifer belts. Scope in position, the Common Buzzards ( we saw 6 to-day) drifted away, leaving  a couple of circling birds over the two bare deciduous trees on the right of the biggest belt. Both were the wintering juvenile Rough-legged Buzzards, which have been present since last November. Two European birders drew up and were equally pleased, Dutch at a guess, from their excellent and only slightly accented English.
Green = month birds
Red = Year birds
 A lovely and, very successful, half day.

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