Monday, 28 March 2016

Before the Storm

Easter Sunday March 27

Would there be any migrants at Barton Broad after yesterday's southerlies?  Still breezy this morning with occasional warm sun. We managed to dodge the showers whilst at the Broad.
This walkway is popular with non birders and children, we were beset by some young shriekers throwing bread to the 'ducks' - Great Crested Grebes. Not a surprise that it was all left to bob in nearby water until some of it was far enough away for bold Black-headed Gulls.
The amount spilled on the platform was still there when we left. 
Two Little Gills swooped and surface pecked, on the far water , the two pairs of Goldeneye still remain, Grey Heron, Cormorants on the nesting rafts, Egyptian Geese and a Buzzard. A fly-by Kingfisher was followed by another, both returning at treetop level from their presumed nesting area around the corner. A Water Rail gave its cry of anguish from the very wet Alder Carr, Reed Buntings heard but not seen. The at least six pairs of Great Crested Grebes tantalised, performing their ear tufts raised, beak open, head shaking early courtship display.......before drifting away. A lone Gadwall was a surprise year tick !
We'd heard Chiffchaff on the walk out. On the way back, I managed to locate it, along with a Long-tailed Tit, the latter not usually seen here. 
Very few Willow catkins out, a lone Bee which could have been a Wood Wasp, Pam thought it was a Honey  bee. Who Knows.


Four hours later than its initial pager report, we drove to Buckenham in hope that the reported Garganey pair was still on the Fishermen's car park pool. They weren't. I scanned until my eyes were sore. The hundreds of active Wigeon still present, along with fewer Teal, Avocet, Mallard, Coot, Redshank and the hidden corners, reedy edges etc were not helpful. Neither was the fact thet they frequently took off, circled widely and returned to re-group. One flight was promped by a Peregrine low over the water. Pam was unsighted and spent the time watching a pair of Wrens carrying nesting material backwards and forwards across the track. Just as well. Her shout of Swallow gave me my first sighting of the year - after I'd regained my seat. Just as good as the Garganey....

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