Monday, 6 May 2013

Ticking again

After Saturdays dip trip I stuck my neck out and tried again for a Red Footed Falcon, this time my destination was Lakenheath in Suffolk. We made the long walk out to Joist Fen hide noting the Whooper Swan and a Cuckoo or two along the way. At Joist Fen we sat for a couple of hours enjoying good views of Marsh Harrier and listening to the sound of Bittern "booming". A single Crane flew over the river early on and the reed beds were alive with a selection of warblers. Jimmy found a Whinchat posing on top of a bush to give me tick 221. I then spotted a Hobby at the back of the fen and watched as it landed in a tree as another Hobby came out to hunt. On closer inspection through the scope the second bird was quickly ID's as the Red Footed Falcon (222) and the group of eager beavers at the hide enjoyed it for almost thirty minutes as it hawked high over the reed bed but never came close enough for a photograph. The Purple Heron had been seen at New Fen so we decided to give it an hour there to see if the bird would give itself up for us but it disappointed staying low in the reeds. A grass snake swam across in front of New Fen hide and I managed to get a photo and get the small crowd on to it as well.

Common Whitethroat
Whooper Swan
Grass Snake
The day wasn't over as this evening I got news of a Black Winged Stilt in Essex so made the short trip to Limbourne Creek and the not so short walk along the sea wall to catch this vagrant bird. It showed really well and gives me tick 223 for 2013. On the walk back to the car I bumped into Dave Bradnam making the opposite walk to see the bird. The news alerts say 400m walk from the car park but trust me it feels closer to a mile but well worth it as it's a cracking bird once you get there.

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