short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Monday, 18 April 2011

16/4/11 Whitlingham and back to Thorpe Marshes

So after a tuff game football  (we won 3v2 for those that care), I decided to check out whitlingham. I walked down the path beside the little broad and picked up a Gull flying low across the water. Once I got a better view i identified it as a Little gull. Not in summer plumage but more winter . Acting very 'tern ' like in it's eating behaviour as it dived for the food of the tips of the water, as they are known to do. I also saw a cracking Mute Swan over the back ,among the reeds on it's beautifully crafted nest . A little further along i came to a Coot on it's nest (breeding is in full swing!) I managed to avoid no end of dogs mess as I got to the top of the little broad (something that stops me coming here more regularly) and on doing so I heard not 1 but 2x Sedge Warblers . I patiently waited for them to give there self up, and as i waited a Chiff Chaff appeared beside me, repeating it's name over and over. A little longer and the pair of Sedge Warblers came to the top of the reeds and were singing away. I love these birds and have fond memories of watching them at Strumpshaw a couple of years back when I first started to take up birdwatching . I stayed in this spot for 20 minutes just listening to these 2 species sing there hearts out ( and at one point i think i could hear a Reed Warbler briefly but not entirely sure so have check that next week)and as I left I saw the Chiff Chaffs displaying to one another, very nice. A very noisey pair of Egyptian Geese were starting trouble against another pair of Egyptian Geese which was very entertaining. They were seperated by the fence that surrounds the Little Braod.

Seperated by the fence!

 A quick look at great broad and i was off to Thorpe Marshes to check on the LPRs and if that Wheatear had stuck around( not likely on the later) . Matt had already been there a while and had picked up a Whitethroat, Black cap and Chiff Chaffs. I made my way to the concrete platform and saw him heading towards me. We saw there were 2 x LPRs on the marsh and heard at least 2x  Cettis singing behind us as we walked further along. We then picked up a Chiff Chaff and a singing Willow Warbler from the trees over railway line. A year tick for me and nice bird to hear in the spring sunshine. We had 2x Lapwings , 2x Oystercatchers and 2x Stock Doves over the Marsh and then 13x Meadow Pipits overhead.As we made our way round to the bird screen hide we heard a Whitethroat and a very close male Black cap in a bush on the pathway. On the scrape were Tufted  Ducks and Stock Doves ( sunbathing) and I spotted 2 x Teal hiding up under the marsh edge. A female Reed Bunting was the last bird on the pathway back and as we crossed the bridge a cracking Kestrel was hoovering along the railway line just in front of us . A nice few hours birding .

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