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Tuesday 22 March 2022

Spring Birding, Dips and Little Buntings!

One of two, feeding in a stubble field at Kelling Heath

I have been doing lots of essential jobs over the last few days, but finally managed to get out for a day's birding! Early bird catches the worm and all that jazz, which is why I dipped the White Stork off Nursery Lane at South Wootton this morning – too late, gone! Joined two other birders, who had also dipped. It came on the pager later, seen flying over Hillington.

I spent a long time searching for my OWN Garganey, being as there are a good number around in Norfolk at the moment. After dipping the White Stork, I headed to Holme and went to Holme Marsh Reserve NWT (village hides). I couldn't remember the last time I visited – new cushions in the hides I noted, but two were on the floor and looked grubby – its quite simple to leave them on the seats surely?! It was beautiful here – Chiffchaffs singing, Long-tailed Tits, Robin, Chaffinches, Blackbirds x 2, Little Grebe, Coot, Red Kite, Canada Geese x 2, Egyptian Geese x 2, Common Buzzards x 2, Marsh Harrier, Cetti's Warbler, Lapwings, Grey Heron, Bees buzzing, a Brimstone, Comma and Red Admiral Butterfly seen. No Garganey!

At Redwell Marsh Hide NOA, another potentially good Garganey site, I had 2 Avocets, several Teal, Mallards, Shovelers, Gadwall, Wigeon, Oystercatchers x 5, Greylag Geese, Lapwings, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and again no Garganey. Carried on along the rollercoaster Firs Road at no more than 5mph and parked up on the NOA car park. Walked and checked the pools from all the NWT hides and again no Garganey found, only the usual Black-headed Gulls, Little Egrets x 2, Teal, Mallards etc. From the NOA car park hide there were a good number of Tufted Duck on the Broadwater. I didn't walk anywhere else on the reserves, as needed to get to Kelling to see the Little Buntings.

Stopped at North Point Pools, Wells and scanned for Garganey, none here either. Headed to Glandford and popped into CleySpy to see Andrew, to sort out my Swarovski VPA Variable Phone Adapter – this has never worked properly, as it is always working loose and is not quicker enough when you need it to be – long story short, I have now purchased a bright yellow (hate the colour) "PhoneSkope Lollipop Universal Smartphone Adapter", which seems far simpler – I will test it out fully over the next few weeks.

Headed to Kelling Heath and parked up along the road. Bumped into John F. who was just leaving. Walked along the path and joined others to see the Little Buntings. Luckily I had an initial glimpse of one feeding in the stubble field through Ashley B.'s scope, thank you! Lovely to see Jacquie and Dave B. here amongst others. I had to wait around for what seemed like an hour, before I saw them again. Eventually they were both perched up in the hedgerow! I don't think I have ever seen two together – wonderful! When they were feeding in the stubble, they were very difficult to see. I never thought in a million years I would get any photos in that first hour, but got lucky later, even though I wasn't close enough for frame filling shots. I watched the Little Buntings until 5.50pm. It was very cold now, made my way back to my car and headed to Cley.

Edge of stubble field at Kelling Heath

Edge of stubble field at Kelling Heath

Because it was so late, I failed miserably to see any Garganey at Cley! Parked up at the East Bank car park and walked as far as Don's Pool, where there had been a pair of Garganey not long before I arrived, but not here now! Parked up at the Visitor Centre, Cley NWT and walked to Bishop's Hide where the light had almost gone completely. Couldn't see any Garganey from here either. Photographed a pair of Swans in the dyke, which although not sharp, portrayed a romantic scene I thought!

Mute Swans
Near Bishop's Hide, late evening at Cley NWT

1 comment:

  1. Read the first part of your blog again where you see Jacquie and Dave B at Kelling Heath. So funny, it sounds like when you saw them again they were perched up in the hedgerow! Don't think they could manage that, haha!