short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Saturday, 16 April 2016

My first 2016 Lifer!

8th April 
 So off to Strumpshaw fen in hope of a Penduline tit !
as I made my way towards the tower hide I passed Ben Lewis & we had a chat , of course the Penduline tit was discussed ! He told me roughly where to look and I was off.  Surprisingly there only 2 other birders I saw over the next 2 1/2 -3 hours .( not moaning as its a pleasure to hear the birds rather then people) I walked slowly across the sluice and checked the water. Plenty of ducks as expected and then on a small tree branch a Kingfisher! (2 in a week!)

Kingfisher taking off in flight !

 I carried on listening for the Penduline tit . Chiiffchaff, willow warbler and  plenty of noisey Cettis! I spent around an hour around that area and decided to check out the tower for a change of view. Inside I watched the Marsh harriers as they tussled and dived in the now sunshine . Swallows were passing over and a Little Egret dropped in .

FemaleMarsh Harrier

Marsh Harriers mating I think ?
 I decided to get back to the job in hand , it was now nearing 4 and I had planned to leave around 5.30 so decided to walk further up the path and along Lackford run. A good decision as I saw 3x Bearded tits ( first of the year for me) , a elusive Sedge warbler and then heard the Penduline tit calling! The first time I've heard it but hearing is good, seeing would be superb so waited patiently , and it seem to be heading towards the tower hide so I walked back as I turned into the river bank it appeared in top of a willow . No time for fluffing around digi-scoping for a record shot,I had to just stick with the bins and soak it up -It was a stunner!
this was the spot where I had the Penduline Tit (no.269)
 
Although active I watched it for around 10 minutes (4.24-4.35pm to be exact) and every time bringing a huge smile to me " boat". Strange thing was I was on my own , hey I'm not moaning but sometimes when a bird that's hard to sometines get on is in your view you kinda wanna help someone else onto it but as I say no one around so I left off and made my way back to the visitors hide. On route I picked up a couple of Treecreepers which was nice
Once at the visitors hide I was able to share where I had had my view of the Tit to a trio of birders ( 2 from Netherlands) . Hopefully they too connected with this superb bird as I did! First lifer of the year for me, Penduline Tit no.269) and hoping to add another this spring 
Happy birding
Ricky 

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