Thursday, 2 May 2013

Cranes and Crossbills

An early start today saw me at Lakenheath before 6am. First find was a nice Whooper Swan in the Mute flock. The bird has been at the reserve for a couple of years now but seems happy with the environment and was seen to make a short flight so would appear to be able to leave if it chose to.
Whooper Swan
Along the path I heard my first Grasshopper Warbler of 2013 (217) but it failed to appear despite me giving it plenty of time to show itself to me. Bittern were "booming" and I counted at least six. Lot's of Marsh Harrier activity with a couple of food passes witnessed. A single Crane flew in while I was at Joist Fen hide and the Barn Owl made a short appearance too. Cuckoos called and a Cetti's Warbler sang loudly by the hide showing well at times.Hobby (218) numbers slowly built as the sun came out but stayed distant towards the rear of the marsh. A Spotted Redshank flew over Joist Fen too whilst I was there, a first for me at this site.

Back at Brandon Fen I located the male Ring Ouzel that's been here about a week now. The bird was in the fenced off area and was unsettled flying from bush to bush perhaps getting ready to move on.
A Wheatear came to see what I was doing and was quite happy to stick around in my company for a while.
I took advantage by grabbing a few photographs.

I made a quick stop in the Brecks on my way to Hollesley Common to find another year tick in the form of a single Stone Curlew (219) The bird was distant and hard as I tried I couldn't find another bird in the area which seems strange as the area is a stronghold for these birds. At Hollesley I found the car park on the common and was happy to take directions from some locals which helped me find the "puddle". After a while waiting the puddle was visited by up to twelve Crossbills and a couple of Yellowhammers. Again the camera came out.

On the way home I had a text from Suzanne that told me the Wood Sandpiper was still at Cattawade. With this only being a couple of mile diversion from my route home down the A12 I had to try and after parking up I walked along the main road a few yards to scan the pool quickly finding Greenshank and Redshank along with a single Snipe. After a few minutes I got on the Wood Sandpiper for tick 220 of the year.
A lovely day in Sunny Suffolk.

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