Saturday, 1 July 2017

Long Anticipated

Friday June 30

Our annual Brecks birding visit usually happens in May or early June. Although we have already mothed there a few times, Weeting and Lakenheath birding hasn't happened. I wasn't over hopeful as it's a bit late in the season for optimum sightings. Birds will have fledged, no more regular parental parental visits with food etc.
Weeting first, where we opened the flaps of West Hide to view an expanse of tall meadow - over the tall waving strands of the hedge immediately in front of the hide. Ah well, here goes. It didn't take me long to find a lone adult Stone Curlew, which appeared in a sparser vegetated area in front of the fenceline on the right-hand side. Much to the delight of the two ladies who were in the hide when we arrived. We had good scope views before Pam found a second bird in a similar area. The sitting bird - pin-pointed by the CCTV camera direction - was occasionally visible.
Back to the Centre for a hot drink, no sun and rather cool. Reading the moth species book was interesting, particularly the two Royal Mantle trapped last Saturday. A tick for us and one we are hoping to see at Abbey Farm to-morrow. (Sunday July 2). A trap is opened at Weeting every Saturday morning from May to October, £3 for members, £3.50 for others. The price for members is exorbitant, in my opinion.
The car park - a piece of rough grassy land - had small bees disappearing into holes in the ground. The female warden told us that they were Five-barred Digger Wasps, which I photographed.

On to Lakenheath Fen, one of our favourite reserves  as there is so much more than birds to see.
We drive as far as New Fen, park and walk to the hide overlooking a pool and reedbed with a bank of trees on three sides.
We sat for over an hour and a half, watching not a lot - but loved it. A Great Crested Grebe with two well grown stripe-headed young played games with a stroppy adult Coot. The latter was chugging about finding food for its young, taking exception to the Grebes if they got in its way - which was frequent. At one time, the Coot appeared to be standing on something with its wings half open balancing. I think that its legs were being held by a young grebe.
A family of Reed Warblers spent the whole time flying between reed beds and the reed island. A Little Grebe spent its time scooting rapidly from the left to the right, beak holding food, and back again, disappearing into the reeds each time. The scooting was flying low across the water, its feet paddling the surface.
Always superb to see, a Kingfisher made three appearances, once perching for ten minutes. That was a male, its beak all black.
Hardly believable.......our first Bearded Reedling of 2017 first called from the far end and then flew in front of us.We haven't walked at Cley nor Titchwell where we usually see them. 
At last, a very tatty Hobby put in a short appearance, high above us.

On a good day earlier in the year, several birds can usually be seen, performing aerial hunting manoeuvres  over the pool and trees.
Large White, Comma,

Red Admiral, Ringlet and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies, various Bugs and a Broad-bodied Chaser enhanced the experience. 
A super few hours out. It always seems like a long way in anticipation - only the same travel time as Snettisham though. Pam always says that we should visit more often - when driving home.

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