Monday, 21 April 2014

Clifftop Migrants

After doing a few jobs around the house on Good Friday, Saturday and Sunday saw some free time to go bird watching. (Though on Friday morning at 6.30am I did go out on my bike to look for some reported Dotterel, before Laura awoke, but without success.)

Saturday morning Laura and I popped into Stalham calling at the farmers market and a few local shops. During this time Gary text me, firstly informing me that a Mandarin was at Pigny's Wood, then to tell me it had left and finally to say he had found a Ring Ouzel there. Two good patch birds, and I had planned an early start there too, but tired from spending Friday in the garden, unusually for me I had rolled back over and had a lay in. Feeling I had to make some sort of amends for my faux par, Laura and I called into Mundesley Camp / Paston Cliffs. With a blustery wind I wasn't too hopeful, but shortly after getting out of the car a Ring Ouzel called, before a Yellow Wagtail flew over. Walking towards the Gas Terminal a large flock of c100 hindrines appeared from nowhere, containing mainly Swallow and Sand Martin but with 5/6 House Martin for good measure. I still hadn't located the Ring Ouzel but thought I'd look for Wheatear on the short grass to the west of the Camp, and sure enough I found 2 male and 1 female. Walking back a bird caught my eye darting over the cliff edge, it was a female Ring Ouzel and while looking down towards the beach I notice an Arctic Tern on the Groyne posts. In the clifftop brambles lots of caterpillars had emerged, which I think maybe Yellow-tail or Brown-tail Moth? Getting into the car a further 2 Yellow Wagtail flew over and a Pied Wagtail was in the car park. If I'd have gone to Pigny's I wouldn't have bothered with the cliffs, some you win some you lose.

On Sunday, driving around looking for something to do, Laura and I eventually arrived at Ranworth. A walk down to the floating visitor center, proved to be rather quite but it was nice to see quite a lot of Common Tern wheeling away and starting to prepare to breed on the nest platforms. Arriving home a Coal Tit was a new garden tick, as we pulled into the yard.

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