Monday, 15 April 2013

'Chiffchaff, chiffchaff, chiffchaff'

Having waited to hear a Chiffchaff for ages today i could not escape them. Laura dropped me off at Lakenham Cock, the same as a few weeks ago, before she went to work. By the pub i could hear 2 Chiffchaff  and soon saw one by the old mill. A Grey Wagtail was by the second channel and a Kingfisher whizzed by. Just over the railway bridge i saw two Swallows skimming over the field and once in the meadow two Willow Warbler were chasing each other along the river bank. More Chiffchaff sang as i approached the electricity compound, before i was given a reminder of winter when 15 Redwing gathered in the trees. The gentle bird calls were then shattered by a Cetti's Warbler calling only feet away from my ear, a call i haven't heard for ages despite the birds no doubt being here all winter. The Riverside bushes seemed to have lots of warblers moving through, mainly 'quiet' Chiffchaff, feeding and moving on, by the time i reached Trowse Mill i had seen 9 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler and 2 Cetti's Warbler, with 34 species seen.

Today i decided to approach Whitlingham from a different direction, walking through the Trowse village and woods, via Whitlingham Hall and walking down the Lime Tree Avenue. 2 Common Buzzard circled over head by the Hall and a pair of Coal Tit were collecting nesting materials by the top of the Avenue. By the Great Broad i saw the two remaining young Egyptian Geese and also two broods of Moorhen. No hindrines were over the Broad, but three Pochard lingered and a Marsh Tit was near the Rea Platform. Just past the Picnic Meadow a group of 3 Jay made plenty of noise and a lone Mistle Thrush was on the wires. The sound of Chiffchaffs was a constant. In Whitlingham Woods 3 Goldcrest were in the company of a Treecreeper and Long-tailed Tit appeared all over the place. By the line of telegraph posts a male Blackcap was singing and a Chiifchaff was singing on the ground and then hopped up towards my feet!

Scanning Thorpe Station Marsh from the woods initially i saw nothing, but eventually found a Little-ringed Plover and a couple of Teal, while a Sparrowhawk circled overhead. From my normal view point at the east-end of the Great Broad, i found a Green Sandpiper on Thorpe and 2 Reed Bunting. Back to the Great Broad a pair of Blackcap were near the pumping house and a Sedge Warbler was near the conservation area along with two Cetti's Warbler and a Willow Warbler. Whitlingham held at least 12 Chiffchaff i think the most I've heard singing at once. 63

During my walk i also saw my first butterflies of the year. With 2 Comma and a Peacock at Whitlingham, 3 further Peacock at Trowse Water Meadows and a Small White and Tortoiseshell on my walk home. Also of note was a Chinese Water Deer in the open on the grass by Whitlingham Woods Car park.

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