short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Lynford or Winterton ???

Me & Yorkie at the start of the week were speaking of meeting up for a mornings birding. We decided that Winterton Dunes may have some early migrants and we should see what we could find.We settled on a 6 am start (although we hadn't realised that was really 5 am as the clocks go forward that morning!)
 Well during the week regular sightings of the Hawfinches and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers down at Lynford were being reported and as i had not had either before and Yorkie keen to add them to his Year List , plus the Great Grey Shrike and Wood Larks at Grimme Graves to, we made a last minute decision to go Brecks over the East Coast, both hoping it would pay off!
  Yorkie turned up around 5.30 after forgetting to alter his alarm clock (personally i think he fancied an extra 30 minutes in Noddy land), and we off to Lynford.On the journey down we both agreed that we would concentrate on going straight to the Paddocks for the Hawfinches and once/ if we got them we would then go looking for the Lesser. We also new there was a chance of seeing Crossbills and a Firecrest along the way but these were the 2 we wanted.
  On walking down to the Paddocks i spotted a low flying Barn Owl coming across the pathways leading to the Folley area. Always a nice sight and a first for me at Lynford in my 3 visits.

 We picked up 3x Goldcrests (year tick for Yorkie) and 2x Marsh Tits at the small crossing. We set up along with one other birder at the Paddocks. While we waited we got a nice Kestrel on top of  the telegraph poles , a nosey Wren and a singing Chiff Chaff , with a flock of around 12x Redwing over head. After 45 minutes Yorkie gave me those the 3 words id been wanting to hear ...`there they are!`. He weren't joking neither , they were sitting out on top of the tree , in all there glory. and not 1 but 3 Hawfinches!  Lifer 215.  I was savoring this as i had come  here twice before and just missed them both times. They really are the king of the Finches and in fact would give most birds a run for there money in the looks department!


Hawfinch (no.215)

After 15 minutes or so we walked on towards the Bridge. On the way we got a closer view of 1 of the Hawfinches which had flown over to 1 of the trees over the pathway.

We picked up a couple of Treecreepers among some Tit flocks and also  5x Tufted Ducks on the Lake and  some Grey Lag/Canadian Geese on the Lawn.We set up at the Bridge but after 30 minutes of listening out for the Lesser and checking out every Greater spotted that flew in and out of the trees we agreed to walk back to the car and in doing so, checking the Folley area out for Firecrest. No Firecrest so off to Grimme Graves to look for the Shrike and Wood Lark!

Greater Spotted Woodpecker(not a Lesser as hoped!)

  Arrived at Grimme Graves along with 2 other birders and was greeted by a employee of the National Trust who informed us that it wouldn't open till 10 (it was now 9.15) and that we would each be charged £3.20 to enter. We decided to all head off down the path which took u down, around the side of the site and hopefully give us some views of the area. It was a bit of as walk and other then lots of Sky larks and a flock of Gold Finches not much else. The other 2 Birders decided they would head back and Wait till 10 and drive in as it was a longer walk then they had hoped but me and Yorkie decided to persevere and continued onwards.We arrived down to the perimeter which was fenced off and begun to scan. We couldn't really see all the way round so we walked down and around till we crossed over the access entrance, as we did the 2 birders from earlier drove past! I turned to Yorkie and said i would happily pay the £6.40 entrance fee for 2 Lifers and so we entered. We were gradually joined by 5 other Birders ,all in search of the Shrike. We headed to the far corner which looked great Shrike territory. No sign but 2x Wood Larks over head and then another 2 which we followed till they landed-Lifer no.216!
  Well we started to work our way around the fence line which surrounded the site. Along with the other birders we managed to scan most of the  area  but with no success.So me and Yorkie made our way back on to the main access road & followed it out , scanning as we went. No joy so it was back to the car with a little disappointment as there had been 2 reports that morning saying it was here.As we started the car i suggested to Yorkie about going back into the car park for a minute in hope someone had sighted it . Already running  late for an appointment back in Norwich he agreed to a quick spin around.We saw many birders but no sightings so we turned around in the car park and as we drove out we saw 3 birders had just set up scopes on the access path , looking West. Yorkie just ditched the car where it was and we both jumped out the car and asked if they had it? `Yep` was the reply and up went the scope! A distance view but never the less it was there and going to ground often and back to the tree top. Great Grey Shrike- Lifer 217! Now we had to step on the gas to get back !

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