short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

weekly round up!

A catch up with my sightings over this last week.A wet day last week on the 25th i decided to have my lunch with a coffee at whitlingham car park.I pulled up in front of the main ramp and was drawn immediately to a large amount of Swallows in the tops of the trees.Around 50+ were all resting in the pouring rain.An unusaul sight to see indeed!
Swallows gathering in the tree tops

As i looked out over the section of the broad i saw nothing but some Black Headed gulls and then a wader dropped in right in view of the van & me-it was a Common Sandpiper. I watched as it just made its way along the shingle .
Common Sandpiper
 Also of note were  3x House Martins Later on that day i also nipped down to the patch and had the Grasshopper Warbler reeling which again was sulking low down ,not viewable.
  Thursday 26th I had my first swifts - over the broad , i had been expecting these any day now with the swallows and martins all ready been here & especially after James had seen one over whitlingham . There were at least 30 but as i left many more seemed to be appearing . I had heard the Grasshopper  Warbler reeling but decided to leave this till later so i walked up and scanned the spit and broad . Immediately i spotted a nice common sandpiper along with a single LRP.
As I made my way round the south side of the broad i had 3x blackcaps all singing . As i stood listening and watching i heard a Common Whitethroat . No views as the rain was becoming to lash it down but i did however enjoy views of a stunning rainbow over the marsh.

As i begun to think about heading back it stopped raining so i continued on. A single snipe was seen feeding at the spit edge among the vegetation and the Mute Swan was still sitting tight on her nest. I checked the marsh to the west- nothing but a Grey heron so on to the cattle pen and the cows!
These cows have been a blessing as they have stopped most dog walkers ( no I don't dislike or have issues with dogs but only those who seem to persist on allowing them to run every where including on to the marsh and scrape where the delightful LRP s are) . I scanned away at the marsh and flooded over scrape to find only a pair of teals and a pair of gadwall. Interestingly 10x Greylag were among the vegetation and the ever regular pair of Canada geese had the heads high.As i scanned the marsh I heard a calling Kingfisher, I hadn't had one this year yet believe it or not. ( although everyone seems to see one) . I approached the footpath and to my surprise it was perched on a branch over hanging a dyke! I watched as it called away, and then it took off only to return again. Super views !
As I walked back I heard the Grasshopper Warbler reeling again as i did at the start of the walk but this time it seemed alot closer . As I stood listening I see it fly across to a reed. I watched as it reeled away and then flew across the path. At this point I meet Paul , a very nice bloke indeed and we both watched and listened( and a bit of good wildlife chat too) as it made its way through the reeds.

Common Sandpiper

On sunday i walked into the city with George and as i walked out of the front door i looked up to see my first returning Swift to the street! Such a great bird and looked rather lonely in the rain.A
local Sparrowhawk then dived into the feral pigeon flock on the old hospital ( over a 100 now if not more!). My walk was finished off with our ever singing Song Thrush from the local park.
Now back to the patch .On the 30th i had the following, starting on the broad:
1x Common sandpiper ,2x Oystercatcher ,A Juvenile Grey heron,2x Great created grebes
A nice Pochard then flew over which drew my attention to the sky.3 x Swallows were counted and then a noise came from Whitlingham broad .It was a pair of Terns.I watched & studied them and it was soon evident they were Artic Terns-my first for the patch.I watched as they spent a few moments over the broad and then back over to Whitlgham. Along the path i had 2x Common Whitethroats and a single Blackcap.One of the Whitethroats was very showy and made for a good picture. As i continued round i had a passing Marsh Harrier and a soaring Common Buzzard.

Common Whitethroat

At the flooded Marshes i had the usual pair of Canada Geese and 6 Greylag Geese.One pair had 3 young with them and i watched as they paddled through the water-proper cute!(im a sucker for little goslings) A mute Swan was on the dyke and i saw a Water Vole swim across the same dyke too.Reed Bunting calling and Willow & Sedge Warblers singing it was feeling like summer.I finished off with a Kestrel over the railway line.

Happy Birding,

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