Sunday, 8 May 2011

End of April

If i don't do my write ups as soon as i get home i tend too forget, and of late the Internet has been a right a***, so once again i find myself typing another 'catch-up' post. I had the week after Easter of so made the most of the weather, getting out as often as possible.

23/04/11 - Eaton Common, Norwich
Not much to write home about really, a Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat and Chiffchaff the only migrants. A pair of Kingfisher at Keswick Mill kept Laura and i entertained while we had a picnic and i was confused by a mimicking Song Thrush.

24/04/11 - East Runton
Getting ready for a family BBQ Gary called to inform me of the Citrine Wagtail on the coast, so we immediately left to be back in time for food. The sun of Norwich gave way to thick sea mist, and i froze in my shorts, but the stunning male Citrine Wagtail showed well despite the light. In the same meadow 3+ Yellow Wagtail, 3 Wheatear numerous Linnet also fed.

25/04/11 - Surlingham Church Marsh
I've only over walked the river bank path of Surlingham Marsh so Laura and i had a more thorough investigation to avoid the Easter Monday crowds of the coast. The reserve itself was bigger than i expected and despite a great habitat for many species i failed to find that many on a hot day. 2 LRP on the scrape were the highlight, with most of the expected expected warblers also about.

26/04/11 - Whitlingham CP
With the children back at school i found Whitlingham quiet once again, this was only my second walk around of the year so i was soon adding patch year ticks to my under visited patch. The first highlight was a Peregrine over Colmans factory viewed from Trowse Water Meadow, no doubt one of the nesting birds from the cathedral. A large number of Sand Martin were joined by smaller numbers of House Martin and Swallow over the Great Broad and i found a Common Sandpiper resting on one of the fishing platforms. In the conservation area a Kingfisher sat in the reeds and 2 Stock Dove were on the island, behind me a Grasshopper Warbler reeled and after 10min or so i located it in the scrub by the path to the screen. Whitethroat were singing all along the river bank, and in the same bramble patch as the last 2 years i located my first Lesser Whitethroat of the year. Scanning Thorpe Station Marsh i found my 2nd Common Sandpiper of the day with 2 LRP and a Green Sandpiper all on the stony spit.

29/04/11 - Stiffkey Fen/Cley/Salthouse/Kelling
A trip around a few sites in North Norfolk with dad turned up some good birds but also left me slightly frustrated. At Stiffkey we has 2 Firecrest on the track, Common Sandpiper in the margins and Whimbrel on the saltmarsh. But the most frustrating bird was the probable Black Kite that i had while walking back to the car, the bird drifted inland as i watched through my binoculars, but as soon as i moved to the scope the bird drifted behind the tree line before i could confirm the ID, a later report of the bird in the same place niggled at me the rest of the day. At Cley we quickly visited the main cluster of hides before having a cuppa in the cafe. We still added Spoonbill (3), Sandwich Tern and Garganey to my year list before walking Gramborough Hill at Salthouse, my favorite migrant spot. The wind was quite strong, but we sound found 2 Whinchat in the bushes and a Wheatear on the posts. Scanning the marshes from the hillside i found my 4th Common Sandpiper of the day (there was 2 at Cley) and also a Woodsandpiper both in a dyke i wouldn't have seen at ground level. Salthouse Heath failed to deliver a Nightingale, though it was early afternoon so we head to Kelling Heath. It didn't take to long to locate a Dartford Warbler singing not far from the place i last saw one last year. Further along the same track i nearly stood on 2 Woodlark before they flew skywards singing, a further 2 were seen perch nearby. Walking back towards the car i flushed a pipit that on closer inspection was a Tree Pipit, a year tick just before we headed home.


  1. You can't complain about the internet if you're still pinching it from the neighbours ;-p