The coast is still quite a trek on public transport, so even with the prospect of a few early migrant on the coast i decided to stay local and walk the River Yare between Eaton and Bowthorpe. By Cringleford Mill i spent awhile looking at the Dragonflies and Damselflies in the area, mulling over the identification of a few. Banded and Emerald Damoiselles, Ruddy Darter, Migrant and Brown Hawker were all in the area along with a few butterflies enjoying the sun's early warmth. Not far along the riverside path and i had the best bird of the day a Honey Buzzard flew low over the meadows, before drifted south out of sight. Although the best bird of the day had shown up early there was plenty more to see. Before reaching the UEA i had seen 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Green Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Sedge Warbler amongst other common birds. The UEA Broad was quiet with a lone family of Great Crested Grebe and a few Mallard. The playing fields offered more with a large group of Starling on the pylons, c30 Goldfinch, 2 Stock Dove and female Kestrel. Pied Wagtails often gather here in winter and i was surprised to count 41 on the cricket pitch nearest the hospital. A lone Common Tern and Swallow passed over head as i approached Earlham Park, where a Kingfisher perched up and then whizzed past me. On Bowthorpe Marshes a helicopter flushed a family of Red-legged Partridge and almost everything else. Walking the grazing marshes and riverbank i found a further 6 Green Woodpecker and 2 more Great Spotted Woodpecker, a large group of Long-tailed Tit, 2 family groups of Linnet and a lone Bullfinch. At Bowthorpe as the sun once again emerged from the clouds dragonflies zoomed about, a mixture of Ruddy and Common Darter, Migrant Hawker and singles of Brown Hawker and Emperor Dragonfly. As well as more Banded Demoiselle and Common Blue Damselfly. I also saw 2 Mink on the river near the ponds, with Jim seeing them at Surlingham does this mean they are increasing in number once again? On the subject of 'pests' i counted over 30 Magpie at Bowthorpe! The final bird of the walk was a Sparrowhawk which flew across Earlham Park as i started to walk home along Earlham Road. 44 species of bird, 8 species of dragonfly/damselfly and 9 species of Butterfly was much more than i had hoped for when setting out.
Acle Women's Institute
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