Wednesday, June 1, 2011

End to end success! 21/5/2011

As had always been intended the day proved to be intense but extremely rewarding. Early morning saw us at the RSPB Lakenheath Reserve where we had exceptionally good views of a male GOLDEN ORIOLE, BITTERN, GARGANEY, HOBBY, CETTIS WARBLER, as well as of a Barn Owl repeatedly bringing back prey to its nesting site , including a Water Vole.

Moving on to Weeting Heath, a NWT reserve, we had reasonable views of a couple of STONE CURLEW and their youngster, all accompanied by information provided from an undoubted military gentleman complete with a spectacular moustache, "regulation" shorts, impeccable manners and a very useful commentary and background.

Calling in at Santon Downham we caught a party of 8 Common Crossbill in trees nearby to the bridge together with a Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker and Nuthatch. Farther north we scoured unsuccessfully a couple of areas for Montagu's Harrier before moving on to Burnham Norton so that Matthew could see the Red-necked Phalarope. Returning to the car , and after standing listening at various points , we encountered a single calling QUAIL at a point when we'd virtually abandoned hope! Later, near to Holkham, a single HOBBY floated through checked for a moment by a Kestrel risng from within its territory.

Moving on to Cley we managed to see one of the Shorelarks, and whilst looking, had a couple of adult MEDITERRANEAN GULL moving west above us. several sandwich Tern moved west along with a couple of Little Tern. Time then dictated that we report to our B and B accommodation, which we did before moving off to one of the nearby heaths located slightly inland. With the weather turning cool, and the wind rising, we soon came across one of the adult DARTFORD WARBLER which are present in the area. Surprisingly it was virtually the only bird we saw! In time honoured fashion we then returned to a nearby pub for a well earned meal and drink after a somewhat exhausting but very rewarding day.

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