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Sunday, 5 April 2015

My First Spring Twitch!

The last couple of days, have involved sorting more stuff in the spare room, being ruthless, going to the tip and preparing for the delivery of my massive clothes collection, which is being returned to me this Wednesday evening! It hasn't been worth posting about what I have been up to over Easter, that is until this evening!

I was 'Father Sitting' this afternoon, to allow my Mother to escape from the house for a short time. She hasn't left the house, since Father has come home from hospital. My sister Vivien took Mother to Home Marsh Reserve NWT and on her return remarked about how late everything is this year. She was delighted to see a Red Admiral and Peacock butterfly whilst there and some young ducklings on the pool in the field, just before you walk through the first gate. She also heard a Cetti's Warbler and a Chiffchaff. She looked much happier when she came home. Father was not in the best of moods, sadly. I'm sure he'll feel better when a ramp has been built, so we can get him outside in the wheelchair, but he insists that he won't be getting into any wheelchair! Mind you after the six month waiting time from Social Services to get the ramp done, he may have changed his mind!

Whilst I was at Holme, the pager bleeped up with Ring Ouzel along 'Thornham Road', Ringstead. I left Holme and drove up the Ringstead Road, turned left on the sharp corner into Thornham Road and looked for the Ring Ouzel or birders! Neither found, I carried on. Watched a fabulously bright Yellowhammer singing in the uppermost branches of a thick hedge and attempted to photograph it, using the car as a hide – but there was too much foliage in front of the bird to get any sharp pictures. Then a more detailed message appeared on the pager about the Ring Ouzel. I returned to the first hedge that runs north, approx 300 yrds from the turn off left on the sharp corner that is 'Thornham Road'. Parked the car up and walked alongside the hedge slowly. It was so nice to be out and it was a beautiful sunny evening. I spent nearly an hour here looking for the Ring Ouzel. Scanned the ploughed field, the grassy field, the hedge further west and well everywhere, no sign! Several Red-legged and Grey Partridges, a couple of Oystercatchers, Yellowhammers, Chaffinches and Hedgesparrows and also a good number of Hares seen. I watched a large raptor flying steadily south west distantly (my gut instinct was Osprey), but had left my scope in the car  – this wasn't one of my best ideas!

A couple of birders arrived and started walking along the opposite side of the hedge that I had walked. They were only approximately 50 yards from me, when the young man pointed down to an area of grass fairly close to me. I very carefully stepped to peep over onto that side of the hedge and the Ring Ouzel was so quick, I didn't even see it on the ground! Up it flew and away – I could see that it was a cracking male. I couldn't believe that it had only been yards from me all that time!!! Higher and higher it flew, north towards Holme village. I watched it until it was the tiniest speck! I managed to get some tiny speck photographs as it flew off (dot on the screen) – they won't win any prizes! How exciting! Another birder arrived, sadly too late. My Easter and Spring birding has begun at last! Looking forward to tomorrow!

I left and parked the car at the junction of 'Greenway' and walked along the track a little way in hope of re-finding the Ring Ouzel, but no luck. It felt really cold now, but still a beautiful evening. Lots of Hares running around in the field, a Barn Owl was quartering the field and the bright orange sun was setting over the sea at Hunstanton – a stunning scene indeed.


1 comment:

  1. " left my scope in the car"...
    yes... I now have my original Optic Ron... the MM2... with an old cine camera handgrip... in my pocket when walking in the Brenne... it is steady enough for ident purposes if you pull arms into body.

    Ring Ouzel.... a bird I've never seen... despite looking.
    Been to a number of sites "oop t'North"... but I'll swear that they get out the bootblack if they get wind of me coming...
    seen Blackbirds but no Ring Ouzels...
    but hey-ho... I saw a Grey-headed Woodpecker the other day... nice view... no pix, I was driving.
    Glad you are having a happier Easter!