Monday, 3 April 2017

Weather too Good

Monday April 3

For writing my Blog that is.......... 

Last week we made several short excursions 'locally'. On Thursday we caught up with Gannet at Winterton.
Friday, a pretty abortive visit to Barton Broad, hoping for some migrants. A lovely afternoon to be sitting and gazing, warm with no wind. Grey Herons on the two nests visible at the opposite side of the broad, many Black-headed Gulls, 4 pairs of Great Crested Grebes - none displaying - Greylags and Cormorants. A speeding Kingfisher for me, missed by Pam, was the highlight.
We were at Buckenham Marsh before 8.00 a.m on Saturday, successfully avoiding all other birders for an hour or so. A male Blackcap sang very loudly, and invisibly, from the Strumpshaw woods as we drove over the railway line. That's really spring. 
Despite very careful and prolonged searching, we didn't see the pair of Garganey until the return drive. No wonder, they're a nightmare. I knew that they'd been in one of the drainage dykes last year, not sure which one. A fellow birder stopped to say that he'd had a glimpse in the second channel on the left after the railway station. He doubted his sighting as it was brief and into the sun. Pam got out to look through his scope and had a short view. I got tired of looking into the sun through mine. The channels are narrow and they swim fast from one side to the other, before disappearing into the long grass verges for, often,  prolonged periods..I had a glimpse with which I wasn't happy. Pam turned the car so that I could scope from the window, as I can't stand for long. With patience, I then had several good views. Excellent, always a bird I love to see - even after 10,000 + in Thailand.
Several male Ruff on the pools, all white-headed, plus Black-tailed Godwits, Avocets, Teal, Wigeon and a Dunlin.
We also saw several Chinese Water Deer, this is a good site for them. 

Sunday March 2
Our North Norfolk car birding run. Another lovely morning but with a chilly wind. The highlights were:
A hunting Barn Owl at Sculthorpe Mill. No Grey Wags to-day.
Tree Sparrows prospecting their nest boxes - wish the boxes had been put up straight !

One female Blackcap near the RSPB car park entrance at Snettisham. I was looking for  one of the Ring Ousels seen in the field here last year.
Arriving at the height of a 6.2 tide at the Wash. Thousands of birds massed on the distant mud island, none distinguishable without a scope. Still all the expected waders, no Pintail and many more Avocets. 
Why isn't there a notice informing the public that this is a nature reserve and asking them to keep to the path? Far too many non birders and dog walkers hugging the tideline.
Six Common Buzzards in the air at once at Holme.
Several shouting Cetti's Warblers
Another Wheatear, female this time, along Beach Road at Cley. 

I happily photographed some common birds at a packed Brancaster Staithe, whilst Pam ate her lunch.

 I'd hoped for a Hirundine or Tern , the latter are in at Blakeney Point and the former have been seen singly for the last week or so - including by MH who was sitting near me on Thursday morning at Cley cafe !!

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