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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Birding at Holme Reserves!

I've had a pretty chilled day, ambling around all four reserves at Holme! Gloriously sunny weather – in fact it was too hot at times! I started off at Holme Marsh Reserve NWT, where I had the male Blackcap singing again and seen, 6 Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards, Bullfinch, Robin, Chiffchaffs, Cetti's Warbler, Little Egret, 4 Shelducks, Snipe, Teal and some Mallards.

Visited Mother for a short while. Whilst I was writing something at the desk by the window, the cat decided to use my legs, as a springboard up to the windowsill – I was not expecting this and suddenly felt the pain of needles being plunged into my flesh. I screamed in agony, the cat shot off and guess what! I was in trouble! 'Poor cat' my mother said in an anguished tone, 'she looks really frightened'!!!

Went to Holme Dunes NWT to have a lovely jacket potato lunch, followed by a hot fruit scone with jam and pot of tea at the Firs cafe! I sat outside at one of the big round picnic tables – the perfect setting and lovely weather. There was a Black Redstart somewhere around, but it failed to show whilst I was here.

At Holme Bird Observatory I had a wonderful sighting of a female Firecrest in the hand! Sophie had caught the same bird in the same mist net twice today! There was a female Wheatear on the grassy slope along with a few Meadow Pipits, just east of the observatory, which was my first one this Spring. Lots of Goldfinches around and a Red Kite was soaring over the marsh. A lovely family arrived, who had recently joined the NOA and I gave them a mini guided tour, until Sophie arrived back from her net round. Their little girl was so sweet, she looked about aged one and a half at a guess and she was fascinated by everything, as toddlers are at that age!

I walked up and along the coastal path to what was Post 10 (which was part of the nature trail years ago) and sat on the seat thinking about father. I remember him photographing Cinnabar Caterpillars feeding on Ragwort here, by the side of the path, not that many years ago. 'Post 10' used to lead down the steps, through the scrub to the bottom path and was brilliant for migrants, but these steps have been removed and path grown over etc for many, many years now. The views from here are wonderful and you can see Holme marsh, church, the sea, the Broadwater, Hunstanton, Thornham, Titchwell, Brancaster and beyond!

Back at the observatory, I spent a long time chatting with Sophie and then left to look for the Black Redstart again. Sophie had heard it singing just west of the Dell Hide today, so I sat in the hide to see if it would appear – it didn't. Headed back to the NOA car park, where I had a coffee and then left.

At Redwell Marsh NOA Reserve, I had my first Swallow this Spring! It was flying north over the back of the scrape. There were also 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Shovelers, 2 Mallards, 2 Teal, Coot, Little Egret, 2 Snipe, 3 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Avocets, 4 Shelducks, 1 Marsh Harrier and a Bumblebee! Took some photographs, but all a bit too far away for my 300mm lens.

My sister Lucy performed (2nd Violin) in concert with the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra today – I am so proud of her, especially as she has managed to continue with all of her rehearsals (but one) at what has been a very difficult time for us all.

I spent the evening with my mother, before returning to King's Lynn. Uniforms ready, bag ready, salad ready, me ready?.... back to work tomorrow!

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