Saturday, 16 April 2011
Welney WWT & Sculthorpe Moore Nature Reserve
I had worked late into the night sorting photos again! This resulted in me not getting up earlier enough. Arrived Welney by mid morning. Too late in the day really to get good views of the bluethroat. Photographed a Sedge Warbler by the Lyle Hide. Bumped into "Big Jake" and his wife Ruth. The last time I saw them, was at the Lesser Kestrel Twitch. I eventually did see the White-Spotted Bluethroat around 12.45pm - it hovered above the bank to the left of the hide briefly singing and then dropped down. It then reappeared shortly after this from Lyle Hide but I only had flight views and sadly no pictures. A Welney volunteer found a Common Crane sitting on on the marsh distantly at 2.00pm. Other birds seen: reed buntings, chaffinches, wren, avocets, redshanks etc etc.
Sculthorpe Moore Community Nature Reserve
This reserve is really growing on me and the huge advantage of coming here is that there are NO DOGS ALLOWED!!! Male Blackcap sitting in tree when I pulled up at the carpark. 2 red legged partridges in ploughed field and greenfinches 'wheezing' and goldfinches twittering! Walked round the whole reserve including the Jarvis Hide which is in the woodland walk, the Whitley Hide which overlooks two bird tables and a reedbed and the Paul Johnson Hide which overlooks a scrape. Looked/listened for the Wood Warbler that was seen this morning around the 'Jarvis Hide' (not Fen Hide as reported) but no luck. Loads of Treecreepers and Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers singing. Several Blackcaps around and a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Had stunning views of a Water Vole swimming alongside me in the dyke, but he/she was in the sun, so not able to photograph. From the Whitley Hide there were some serious fights going on amongst the pheasants - male of course! Also feeding on the bird tables were reed buntings both male and female, chaffinches, blue tits and a large rat below! In the book someone had had an Osprey on the 11th April and also Goshawks seen!
From the Paul Johnson, scrape hide I watched two Swallows skimming the water for flies and two Marsh Harriers were circling round left of the hide. A Muntjack deer in the distance. Highland cattle set the scene. I then had what was possibly a glimpse of an Osprey flying distantly and then landed in a tree. Annoyingly I had left the scope in the car. So walked out of hide to walk back down the path to get closer, but didn't see it again. When I got back to the visitor centre someone told me that there is a private fishing lake at Hempton, so the bird seen on the 11th could still be around! I noticed on the sightings board that Grasshopper Warblers have been heard here, but I didn't hear any.
As I walked back to the carpark the sunset was awesome.
RBA: RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE
"yesterday just west of Beccles in garden at Barsham for third day. (no sign today)"
Picture here: http://www.birdlineeastanglia.co.uk/ and then open "Suffolk Bird News"