Saturday, April 5, 2014

Quality birding played slowly! 27.3.2014

The weather looked  reasonable so I decided to complete a trip down into the heartland of west Norfolk.  I have an awful past record of getting lost in the area , mainly due to arrogantly continuing on when I didn't really know where I was, but convinced myself otherwise, and this trip was no exception.

The first part was the easiest and I easily located the area which I was going to patiently stake out and, hopefully, see Goshawk in display. As predicted, the weather was relatively calm , although a bit hazy, so it seemed the task was "on".  After sitting scanning for an interminable period I'd had not a suggestion of a Goshawk , never mind good views or display. Common Buzzards were doing their own stuff and raised hopes on each occasion as they emerged at a distance through the haze. Eventually, amidst a small "swirl" of three or four Buzzards at a lower level, I then found a Goshawk circling at a much greater height. But that was it! After a short period it somehow disappeared  and didn't return despite an intensely elongated period of scanning.  OK, I thought , you'll have to make do with that, although in reality I'd little option.

Having memorized the route to the next venue I confidently buzzed down lanes and byways, only to arrive at the considered location which looked nothing like that described.  Patient back-tracking then led to a combination of previous mistakes being identified that will forever ensure my admiration for SatNav gadgets!!!  I was on the look out for Stone Curlew! First of all I bumped into the birder who I'd seen at Waveney Forest previously, who confirmed I was in the right location, but that the birds were in a different field.  I felt sure I'd been told there were several around but, apparently , only two had been found.  Patient scanning then found one of them which gave pretty good views, so one up on the endeavours with Goshawk I also managed to get Lee Evans on my Year List given we found ourselves drawing up in unison at the same vantage point. After further reasonable views and a quick chat I set off again and quickly linked up with the correct route I needed to get back northwards.

By the time I got back on the caost the weather and visibility had deteriorated and what had been a nice away day ended up being truncated, which is the luck of the draw.