Saturday, 6 February 2016

Swans and Cranes

Friday February 5

A no hwyl (energy/desire/motivation) day for me. The mooted trip to Titchwell aborted, we drove to Ludham Airfield and then, Ludham Marshes, after lunch.
The airfield swans were a little nearer this time, in two separate groups,  Whoopers to the north, Bewicks on the south. I counted the Whoopers. At least 47 with seven young whose bodies were already white with juvenile grey necks and heads.

Two Whoopers, two Bewicks at the back - should have used the Bridge camera for better depth of field
Adult Whooper
A Bewick family
Bewick family, parent in the lead
The 'road' out to St Benets Abbey gets worse.  The concrete slabs are cracked and becoming ever more worn in between the sections. The sides are also crumbling, not helped by the regular tractor and occasional heavy lorry passage. The drive in is therefore careful and slow. At one pause I saw two Common Cranes very distantly between two bushes. On reaching the car park, they had disappeared but re-appeared before we left. They then took flight when three more appeared from the left. A breeding pair seeing off territory rivals?
Thurne, with its windmills, is over half a mile across the marsh but I tried a photo of the three flying birds with my 300mm lens - without the 1.4 extender. 

A lovely warm biscuit-coloured Barn Owl appeared in the same area.

Down to counting the amazing number of Cormorants flying to roost in skeins of up to 40, over a 100 in a quarter of an hour, a Peregrine was the last bird for the day.

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