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Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sunshine, Woodlark, but no Turtle Dove!

Marsh Harrier over Holme Marsh Reserve.

Holme Marsh Reserve and Thornham
A beautiful, gloriously sunny day - typical when I had to be at work at 1pm.

Phoned the ward I was working on today to make sure they definately needed me. They did - bother!

After delivering shopping to my parents I went to Holme Marsh Reserve and sat in the second hide. The path to the hide was incredibly slippery after the deluge of rain yesterday, but I made it without falling over, just! Sitting in the hide, the first thing I heard was a Cettis Warbler in full song. With blue skies and the reed mace wavering in the sunshine, it looked and felt like spring was in the air! With the first sand martins arriving back in the UK this week, shouldn't be too long now before we see them in Norfolk. There seemed to be a good movement of birds this morning. Large numbers of woodpigeons scattering in all directions. I counted 200+ lapwing in the skies along with 100+ Curlew when a light aircraft put up every bird up on the marshes. Watched a Marsh Harrier fairly close to the hide. Other birds seen: kestrel, 2 canada geese, coots, 3 egyptian geese, long tailed tits, the usual tufted duck, mallard and a pair of gadwall. As I left the hide a barn owl flew out of the tree by the first hide. I could also hear a tawny owl calling distantly.

Re-located to Thornham Harbour. Never know I might actually see the Northern Harrier again - ha ha, not! Counted 52 Shelduck around Thornham Point along with a good number of curlew and a couple of little egrets. Redshanks around the harbour area.

Stopped at Titchwell RSPB to buy a vege pasty. On the way back home I stopped at the concrete pad on the Brancaster to Docking road to eat my pasty and have a coffee. The views of the coast and Scolt Head Island are wonderful from here. But bad memories here also of the Bee-eater that I dipped! That reminds me, Paul K. still hasn't emailed me the photo that he took of that!

Got home and changed with seconds to spare to arrive for my 1pm shift to find they didn't really need me after all. So I asked if I could go at 2.30pm, which saved them money and gave me some valuable time in the sunshine! By the time I got home though and changed etc it was late in the day. Very annoyed as if I had known this, I could have stayed on the coast and walked round Titchwell or maybe gone to Cley again.

Pinkfooted Goose over Holme Marsh Reserve.

I ended up going to Roydon Church again to look for the Turtle Dove and STILL coudn't find it! Went to Roydon Common where bird of the day was a wonderful singing Woodlark right by the gate entrance. I find this reserve so incredibly boring though and very rarely go there. Its quite bleak and a bit too close to a main road - too many dog walkers here also. Semi dusk now, I thought I would see some raptors, but nothing. Another birder arrived and was also disappointed at the complete lack of raptors seen.

Went home and collapsed in the chair.

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