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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Red Trousers

Out with Mark last Sunday and we did the trip to the Brecks we had originally planned for the weekend before, we got down there nice and early and started with a look at Cavenham Heath, at the first stop we made a Wood Lark was singing its head off as soon as we got out of the car and we soon located a Stone Curlew strutting around, we carried on a bit further down the road making a couple more stops and found several more Stone Curlews including a pair with two chicks. We then moved on to RSPB Lakenheath for the star bird, a male Red Footed Falcon that had been performing well for the last three or four weeks, it was a very popular reserve today and as we arrived we were informed the car park was full and we would have to come back another day, we laughed and politely pointed out we hadn't travelled 200 miles to be turned away just because the car park was full, we would wait until a space became available which fortunately did within the next 5 mins, once on site the Red Foot and several Hobbies were showing really well and we spent quite some time photographing them before moving on. A Savi's Warbler had been found in another area of the reserve on the Saturday and had been seen again early in the morning, however it had gone quiet and not been seen since then and it was generally felt it would not perform again until later that evening, with it being a tick for Mark and there being nothing much on the north Norfolk coast or elsewhere we decided to stick it out, a leisurely wander around the reserve while we were waiting produced several Marsh Harriers, between 30 and 40 Hobbies, booming Bittern, an Egyptian Goose, several Cuckoo's, a few Cetti's and Garden Warblers and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler, Mark had a distant Crane flying over Joist Fen but I was trying to find some Bearded Reedlings at the time, we never did get any views of them just a couple calling, likewise the Golden Orioles, they were very quiet and as far as I know there were no sightings that day. Late afternoon found us back at the Savi's area and at around 4-45pm it started singing, quite a distinct and more solid sounding reel compared to the Gropper heard earlier, the bird was very flighty and moving around quite a bit, never posed for more than a couple of seconds at a time but it did eventually give itself up and sang from half way up a reed stem long enough to get the scopes on it, a good end to the day.

distant Stone Curlew

you can just make out one of the chicks to the left


Star bird although the lighting was always a challenge


accompanied by a few Hobbies

Poplar Wood

Joist Fen

a food pass, looks like a young Moorhen

a posing Cuckoo

Monday, 27 May 2013


I nipped to Tophill Low after work last Thursday, started at Watton Borrow Pits and worked back around to D Reservoir and North Marsh, highlights were a Temminck's Stint with two Common Sandpipers on Watton plus two Little Gulls dropped in to bathe, two pairs of Little Ringed Plover on South Marsh East plus an Osprey flew over and the Ring Necked Duck was still on D Reservoir plus masses of Hirundines and Swifts feeding low over the Reservoir and surrounding area on a pretty cold afternoon, as if the pressures from mankind weren't enough even the weather seems to be conspiring against our wildlife at the moment, apart from a Cuckoo singing, North Marsh was very quiet.
some Reed Warblers were posing nice

perfectly camouflaged

mating pair


Monday, 20 May 2013


An evening trip up to Teesside with Mark for a posing Thrush Nightingale, the bird was by the Putting Green on Hartlepool Headland and was showing unbelievably well for its second day, its not often you get them performing as well as this although my first one at Languard many years ago was just the same, after having our fill of the bird we dropped down to Saltholme where we picked up the Pectoral Sandpiper and a pair of Garganey on the Fire Station Pools and a couple of distant Wood Sandpipers were on a flooded field across the road, a pretty good evening out.