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Monday 14 March 2022

Eastern Stonechat Again at Holme Dunes NWT!

Looking west from Thornham Harbour


A beautiful sunny Spring day! My day started with a scheduled X-ray on my right hip and lower back at the QEH – two week wait for the results to my GP. Returned home to do some jobs. Watched the news – I still can not believe what is going on in Ukraine, each day brings more death, destruction and threats. Where will it all end?!

I went to see the Eastern Stonechat again, in hope of getting a better picture in the sunshine. Parked up on the NOA car park and walked along the path towards the first hide. The Eastern Stonechat was flitting around the brambles by the green farm gate in the paddock, immediately south of the hides at 3pm – lovely views through the scope, but even further away than yesterday, so I didn't even lift the camera, no point! Lots of toads along the path, so look down when you are walking along there! As I walked back to the car, three birders had been watching a Firecrest in the gorse next to my car!!! No sign of it now of course. I returned along the path to see if I could find it, but only found a Goldcrest flitting around in a large hawthorn. Several Blackbirds in the paddocks, Hedge Sparrows, a few Linnets and a Robin.

Walked to the NOA entrance, where a Firecrest had been seen earlier, but no luck with that, so returned to the NWT path to the hides. Steve C. joined me and we watched the Eastern Stonechat in the same spot, but shortly after this it vanished and we didn't see it anymore, after much searching, including scanning the brambles on the far side of the Broadwater.

Drove back over the many pot-holes along the Firs Road and parked up in the village car park. I heard my first Spring Chiffchaff here! Feeding on the water-logged grass area were 2 Curlews, 4 Oystercatchers, loads of Woodpigeons and 5 Blackbirds. A Robin appeared close by and peered up at me with twinkly eyes – a piece of my Hot Cross Bun was hugely appreciated!

Parked up at Thornham Harbour – the small car park that was there, is no more, I don't know why it has been blocked off with posts – my guess is that cars were getting blocked in. I walked up to the sea wall to view the new flooded area of the marsh – this looks very impressive indeed! Saw a Heron, good numbers of Wigeon, Teal and Mallard – I was looking into the sun, so couldn't see all the birds here. Met a lovely couple with a black Labradoodle who read my blog – nice to meet you! Heard a Cetti's Warbler calling opposite the coal barn, whilst watching a beautiful sunset over the flooded marsh.

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