short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Monday, 14 May 2012

weekly catch up

 Bank holiday morning was spent at the patch with main targets being returning Reed Warbler and any passing migrants over. Me and Matt were joined by Simon on route to the broad.It was quickly evident that there had been a large fall of migrants in over the weekend and the broad was full of Hirundines and Swifts-too many to number ! As we scanned the spit Simon noticed the Swallows were alarm calling and up above i picked up a passing Hobby over. There was 3x Common Sandpipers were on the spit, and a good number of Blackcaps & Whitethroats along the path as we made it round to the Marshes. A pair of Shovelers was a nice sight and a Yellow Wagtail over (thanks to Simon's Sharpe ears).I picked up a nice showy Reed Warbler in the reed edge  which was my patch tick for the year as was the yellow wag.We finished off with 4x Cettis Warblers, 1x Kestrel, 1x Sparrowhawk and a total of 4 x Reed Warblers.
My work sightings have been interesting over the last week too.Ive had a pair of Grey Wagtails tirelessly feeding there newly fledged young along the river Wensum in Norwich.I witnessed them feeding two and then watched as a 3rd dropped out from under the sluice where nest was and into the water .I waited for what seemed ages but it never appeared. But the two that had made it to bank edge were being well fed by the parents.

Grey Wagtail feeding young
 While working in Old Catton on Friday i had a Hobby over , this was actually my first ever Hobby away from water so a very nice experience. Alot of nest building and young feeding as been going on as you would expect this time of the year in all the gardens i come across and with that alot of drama. I witnessed young Coal Tits caught by Cats to a pair of newly fledged starlings being caught in the gusty
 winds on Friday to which ended in one being fatally blown into a wall and the other into a car,luckily it survived and was tended to by its frantic parents .
 At home the Gold Finches have been making more visits to the feeders so hunger mouths must be calling! A Greater Spotted Woodpecker passed over a couple times and the Great/ Blue Tits have been emptying the feeders! My regular pair of Collar Doves too have been looking a little ragged which is not surprising with this weather and young to tend too. The Swifts had gone from 2 to 10+ by Wednesday and over the weekend were numbering 30+ so fingers crossed that finally this year they will choose my roof to nest.While taking George out one morning i was treated to a male & female Bullfinch, my favourite british bird.They were going backwards and forwards from a bush on the other side of a green, so it looks like me & George will be walking this way more often!
 The weekend i was busy with the family taking advantage of the beautiful weather but i did spend an hours birding Saturday evening at Strumpshaw Fen.As i made my way up to the Tower hide i had 3x Chinese Water Deers and 2x Kingfishers perched-what a bird!


 At the Hide i watched the Marsh Harriers return with food and a couple of Cuckoos calling (one flying across and landing).I  was also treated to a beautiful sunset as the noisy Black Headed Gulls started to roost up.A cracking evening which was topped off with some nice views of a family of Foxes including some rather cute cubs- super stuff!

Sunset over Strumpshaw

 Happy Birding,

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