short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Local Patch and Cantley

 Ive been working extra hard this week to get ahead ready for the Autumn weather and shorter nights but still managed to get to my local patch ,Thorpe for 2 visits. On friday it was extra quiet with no sign of the Common Sandpipers or visiting Greenshanks or even the Geese were no where to be seen( all with James at Whitlingham i guess).However a Cormorant and a pair of Moorhens still gave me something to study on the lagoon. I checked the Marshes and again nothing -but just as i started to leave off i saw something coming out from the vegetation...a Common Buzzard.It seemed to be pulling up a few worms.That explained for the lack of regular visitors( Stock Doves & Lapwings). As i reached the bridge i turned back to see the local Corvids  mobbing the Buzzard and seeing it off over the River and beyond Whitlingham woods.
 My second visit to Thorpe was this morning  and once again all was quiet on the water , other then a few Lapwings. On the River a family of Moorhens and 8x (7xjuv) Mute Swans. I made my way round to the Marshes and heard 2x Reed Warblers in the reeds. I stood still for a bit & waited for them to show. I know that any time soon these few remaining Reed Warblers will soon be heading off on there long journey South, so its nice to catch em still while i can. As i approached the Marshes 2x Grey Herons chased one another over head and then a flock of around 50 + Lapwings dropped in . I scoped up and scanned through, counting as i went. A total of 65 Lapwings  were feeding and  among them a patch tick with a feeding Snipe! I know these would winter here as its suitable habitat so hopefully this will be a regular sight over the coming months for me.

Snipe among the resting Lapwings

 Later on friday i managed to get to Cantley pits.I was greeted by friendly faces- Jim and James( nice to finally get to meet the face behind the blog James!) & another fellow blogger David. I was in good company and with extra eyes was in high hopes of finding some decent birds!
 As i spoke to Jim he quickly put me in the direction of a group of Waders in front of us-4x Little Stints and a Curlew Sandpiper. A great opportunity to get to study this Wader in good light and up very close!
 After a while we started to head round the this huge site.It quickly occurred to me that this was going to be Wader fest-as every where you looked there was Waders ! There was tons of Ruff , Dunlin and a good number of Ringed Plovers.Then a few Common Sandpipers and a nice looking Wood Sandpiper.

Little Stint

Wood Sandpiper
 A few Yellow Wagtails were among the mud piles and a few Greenshank dropped in. It was at this point that i had a group of 4x Curlew Sandpipers with some Dunlins.

Curlew Sandpipers and a Dunlin
 I turned my attention to the Reeds on the other side of the pits and heard that `ping` call of the Bearded Tit. I waited a moment & 2 appeared . Then at the foot of the reeds i had a juvenile Water Rail. A bird that has some how escaped me this year until now.I scanned out more and  noticed 10 + Snipe feeding in the muddy edge.In fact by the end of my visit i had counted a total of at least 25x Snipe. As i went to turn to leave a huge flock of Golden Plover  dropped in and quickly took off again.Another birder who was nearby pointed out a few that remained and were out in the mud.
Golden Plover
 This site is Wader city, a great place to brush up on your Wader ID skills and not too far from Norwich too. As arnie would say "i`ll be back"
 Happy Birding,
  Shaky

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