short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Holme in the sunshine.......

Holme Dunes in the sun
 A another gorgeous day of bright sun and warm skies meant only one thing.... a trip out to the coast! i hadn't been to Holme since September last year when i had the Red Backed Shrike & Red Necked Phalarope. so i felt it was only right & proper that i take a butchers at what treats were on offer. I finished my work and nipped back home to grab me `Scope and Collins` , and headed out to Holme. I had been texted earlier by local birder Pete that he was already there and enjoying the beautiful song of the Nightingale ( very jealous !) ,so i put me foot on the gas and before i knew it i was pulling up the track entrance & to have Pete & a few other birders in my view. I wound the window down (no mod cons for me) and asked if it was still there, but it was a silly question as i could hear it belting out its song at full pelt! I said ` keep it there Pete , ill be back in a jiffy`. Well  we stood for around 5 minutes listening to the gorgeous song  & just itching to grab a view and then all of a sudden it stopped singing. Must have been 10 minutes(although it seemed like for ages) before it decided to start singing again & this time alot closer. We started to all stare into this one area and just like that it flew into view on a branch. A few `aghhh `s , wow`s  and  a `what a bird` from me and it nipped back into the dense tree. But to have that 10 seconds of viewing time, to see it perched there ,mouth wide open, belting out its song, shaking as it did, was pure magic! This was my first view of one and definitely one ill be cherishing for a long time.Nightingale (no.223) .It then stopped singing (maybe for a  Little `siesta` ) so we decided to head off around the dunes, checking the sea as we went. We didn't see much on the sea, 30+ Common Scoter & 35+ Oystercatchers  and a single Ringed Plover on the sand edge were the only highlights but the action was inland so we started checking the floor and brambles, bushes and trees for any movement. Meadow Pipits, Reed Buntings, 6x Common Whitethoats, Sedge Warblers, 2x Chifchaffs and a Kestrelwere the seen along the path through the dunes and then as we walked through towards the other side of the track we saw a Lesser Whitethroat dart into the brambles. We never picked it up again sadly but it wasn't the only one we were going to see. We headed towards the first hide , and as we did we could hear the sounds of Grasshopper Warblers . We stood there with some others listening & waiting for movement. I heard one to the left of the hide & saw a bird fly across. I at first  thought it was a Sedge from the quick glimpse i had but then it appeared on the bush top with mouth open and reeling out its song it was what we were looking for. I pointed it out to Pete,who agreed it was a Grasshopper (224)and we watched along with the others for a few moments until it dropped down into the bush. I was now `bouncing` along with a grin on my face, 2x lifers and still to check the hides! ( I'm making the most of this ,as i know that there`ll be a time soon when lifers will be very hard to come by, as my mate Yorkie keeps telling me!). The hides were full of nesting B H Gulls, Avocets & Lapwings.A few Shoverlers and some of the usual. I then scanned out the ground beyond the water and picked up atleast4x Wheatears   always a pleasure to see.


And then i caught sight of a possible sandpiper of some sort but it was disappearing behind the bank edge alot so it was difficult to get on, as well as the haze which was being created from the blazing heat. Pete took a look through my scope and we both agreed it was actually a Greenshank . After that not much else but then as we were leaving a lady pointed something out . We all got on it ... a nice Ruff.  We got back to the car park and tucked into our lunch. As we both checked our phones to see what was about , we were both drawn to the brambles in front of us. There was a call i had heard before but couldn't make out what bird it belonged to. Pete said it was Lesser Whitethroat. Well before we had finished our sandwiches it appeared on top of the bushes to our left. A Lesser Whitethroat   - Lovely Jubly as Del Boy would have have said if he`d seen it I'm sure. We were alerted that around 10x Dotterels were south of Choseley Barns in a field so we both agreed on heading there asap.
 We arrived at the barns and made our way down to the gathering of people which were there. A  hazy and distance view of at least 5x Dotterels   but good enough (no.225) .We were debating on weather to drive around to the other side and walking up along the opposite hedge line for better views when a Garden Warbler started singing. A brief view of it and back to the van. Pete went off to Titchwell while i decided to grab some better views of the Dotterel. I parked up on the verge and walked up along the hedge .I was joined by 4 walkers. The ladies had walked from Holme to here and after seeing the Dotterels off to Titchwell i think. (very hardcore indeed) .I rewarded for our walk as firstly, it was closer & secondly, the sun was behind us making for easier viewing.I managed to get some Digi pic`s too.



I drove home a very happy birder , but sadly the day was some what ruined  by  hearing the result of my beloved West Ham being spanked by United . But i didn't let it dampen me spirits for too long as i started to recall the song of the Nightingale i had listened to earlier in the day......o what joy!  


  1. You mentioned us the hardcore 4 ladies!! Thank you for taking the Dotterel photos with my camera. We made it to Titchwell & on way home saw a red kite which made our day. Angela

  2. As one of the hardcore ladies I would like to say we also had a brilliant day. Not only did we see the Red Kite but we also managed to see a Little Owl and 2 Kingfishers. Our walk was 9.4 miles, not bad for 2 pensioners and 2 ladies of a certain age!!! Pauline