short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Thursday, 28 April 2016

April at the patch .. Part 2-

 So plenty more visits to the patch from the middle of April with migrants starting to return.
First visit on 13 th:- I picked up a showy Sedge warbler singing in the sunshine in the bottom of a Buddlia over hanging the dyke , followed by a even showier Blackcap as I passed the small mooring area. I then picked up Sedge warbler no.2 as I made my way the shingle broad viewing area .

singing Sedge Warbler
 Here I joined Chris durdin who was on a wander round too so it made sense to join up ( 2 pairs of eyes are better then 2!) and we were quickly rewarded by a single LRP along with a Green sandpiper ( I saw yesterday ) in the same view as I scoped them . I was buzzin as my target bird of the day was LRP as it was yesterday ! It was nice to give Chris a better view with him not having a scope. We picked up a pair of Teal and 4x Gadwall on the water and on the shingle spit was 3x lapwings and 3x Stock doves which quickly became 6 as 3 dropped in. Also a nice soaring common buzzards over head  and then that high pitched  call of a Kingfisher which I quickly picked up a flying across the broad beach and over the River-this afternoon was looking great!

Then after stopping off to listen and view a singing Blackcap we arrived at the hide and I decided to scan away back at the LRP and to my surprise there was 3x Green sandpipers ! Ok you may say "calm down Ricky boy it's just a few waders " but this is what patching is all about. Waiting for something to turn up or not turn up on its migration route or destination . I've never recorded more then a single Green sandpiper before & never a sandpiper this early in the spring so yes this was worthy of a "get in there" !

Little Ringed Plover
It would get even  better later but before then we  picked up a single Oystercatcher before Chris found he's/ our first Lady's smock of the year and then a marsh marigold too. 
  Then after bumping into mike Borrows we scanned back at the shingle to find 3x LRPs in the sky! A loose dog had somehow made its way onto the shingle beach to flush them up and  its owners ( later found out the wire fence had been partially pulled away , not good) . I was now very happy , unhappy at the irresponsible dog walkers but happy with knowing 3 X LRPs had made the journey back here. They probably won't breed here with things like this happening but always hopeful . We finished off our circuit with a view of the mute swan on its nest and 3rd/4th Sedge warbler singing along the railway line .Also of note was 4x Cettis heard singing and a couple of Willow warblers.  It was a super visit & great to have the company of Chris too
  My next visit on the 15 th April was after a wet miserable day but I decided to brave it. As the drizzle continued i picked up a smart Female marsh harrier over followed by a common buzzard  followed by a Green woodpecker on tree top and then to the broad... Hirundines everywhere! A Couple of hundred at least- House Martins, Sand Martin and swallows ,alot on the deck resting up  after there long draining journey .
Also of note was a single Green sandpiper 2x male shovelers (good bird for april here)  2x teal and a superb sighting of a Water rail in flight! ( my first record for month of April)
 It was a great visit and shows you what rewards there are to be had even on a wet, damp miserable day at your patch!
 After dinner at the inlaws on the 17th April I headed down to patch for a quick visit where highlights were:
2x green sandpipers & 1x common sandpiper( My first of the year!)
Also 3x Oystercatchers- a proper Wader fest!

  My first Common Whitethroat of the year was found on my next visit on the 19th, in fact 2 were seen .
 Also some showy Blackcaps and noticeably there were plenty more Sedge warblers ,newly arrived.  But my bird of the day was the Grasshopper warbler I got in among the bush  of the marsh flood.  That sound is just a nice reminder of spring is here and I wait for the sound of the cuckoo to join it hopefully! Also the now regular  Chinese Water Deer ,picture below


  An evening visit between 7.15-9.30pm on the 20th April was with the aim of a possible Nightingale (as I found last year) and to hear the Grasshopper Warblers which really love to Reel away later in the day.
 As I walked down towards the hide I picked up 6x swallows over the marsh and broad,2x Cettis,2x willow warblers and 2 singing  Song thrushes. I soon picked up the usual suspects on the broad and 2x common sandpipers (up 1 from previous  visits ) along with some tufted ducks.  Now as walked round I was joined by local birder Mike as well as Chippy & we begun to share our recent sightings ( always great to exchange info on what you have had & to see what you have missed !)  anyway it wasn't long before we were listening to the reel of a Grasshopper warbler, in fact right in front of us & as the sun went & moon light shone we walked round to pick up not 2 but 3 reeling if not more !  A real treat and something I hope stays for a while.  Chippy heard Tawnys calling along with a Fox and as we walked back 5+ Common Snipe were flushed up . It was cold now so into the van with note pad and pen with some heat .

sunset over Thorpe Marsh

Happy birding ,

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