Barn Owl with prey, Snettisham CP.
Bird migration really seems to be picking up now that we're well into May. Lots of common stuff but also a few goodies and even a mega or two if you're prepared to travel. Unfortunately I couldn't travel and missed out.
However, there have been some nice birds in recent days.
On Sunday (3rd May) I took my youngest daughter to Welches Dam at dusk to listen for Spotted Crakes. It was very windy with the odd spot of rain. We were lucky enough to hear one bird but it was rather distant and not satisfactory. A Turtle Dove was also present along with a Common Crane, 4 Garganey and Kingfishers. It takes a something special to upstage the birds but two Otters did exactly that. We were sitting in Kingfisher hide when we heard a splash from the river in front. Looking down, I could see the Otters using one of their slipways for fun. They would go down it and into the water then climb out and do it again and again. They then swam off only to return after dark in front of the hide. It was a full moon and cloudless so we had excellent views.
This weekend has been spent at Snettisham Country / Coastal (delete as appropriate) Park. Yesterday was quite good with Turtle Doves, Ring Ouzels, Hobby and Snow Bunting. Lots of Sandwich Terns and 60+ Great Crested Grebes on the sea.
Turtle Dove, Snettisham
Grasshopper Warbler, Snettisham
Blackcap, male, Snettisham
No. Not a Citril Finch, just a plain Greenfinch
Common Whitethroat, Snettisham
Snettisham today was better than yesterday, at least up until 9:25 when my pager threw a fit (followed closely by myself 30 seconds later!). Birds here today included my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year, male Redstart, female Ring Ouzels, more Turtle doves and warblers everywhere.
There was also some good visual migration involving Yellow Wagtails, Whimbrel, Lesser Whitethroats and a Short-eared Owl tormented by Jackdaws. There was also a large passage of mixed hirundines and Common Swifts.
Tree Pipit, Snettisham
Yet another Ring Ouzel. Female this time. Snettisham
Swifts finally start returning in numbers.
Reed Warbler, Snettisham
Cetti's Warbler, Snettisham
Sedge Warbler, Snettisham
A busy weekend you might think. Well, yes it was actually. Let me tell you though, it got a hell of a lot busier at 9:25 today. The pager lets out a noise as though it's being strangled. CITRIL FINCH at Burnham Overy Dunes. I was a bit miffed as I had promised the kids I would spend at least part of the morning with them. Very stubborn my kids and they refused to let me off the hook. Basically they held me to ransom and extorted several treats out of me before I could escape. I think I squeezed into the last parking space at Burnham Overy Staithe after a very scary drive from Kings Lynn. I was in such a rush I just grabbed my bins and "ran" ;-) leaving my cameras and scope behind. I wasn't about to go back though. There were people everywhere it looked like a Women's Institute AGM. Did I see the bird? I most certainly did though I was disappointed not to get some photographs. Between you, me and the gatepost it looked like a cross between a Greenfinch and a Eurasian Siskin. Don't tell anyone I said that though.
What's next? well off to Scotland via Gods County next Friday. Who knows.