Thursday, April 16, 2015

A bit of a washout initially! 17.3.2015

An early visit to Cley produced very little so, after breakfast, I set off westwards with the intention of visiting Holkham NNR.  Called in to Wells for a bank at which point it started raining......and continued raining! Undeterred I parked up and set off exploring Wells Woods.  Dank, depressing and seemingly devoid of birds would not have been overstating anything. Odd Blue and Coal Tit and a few Jays were about all that was on offer. The adjacent wet marshes held Wigeon, Mallard, Grey lag Geese, Egyptian Geese and both Moorhen and Tufted Duck were present in areas with deeper water.

Grey Heron, 2 Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Barn Owl out hunting at 1115 hours kept up the interest until 2 Spoonbill were found and, shortly after, Grey Partridge.  Nothing is ever squandered if you're persistent! But the conditions were unrelenting so I returned to the car. Carried on westwards and had a stake out for the Rough-legged Buzzard but to no avail. Similarly little was seen at Thornham and, with the day advancing, hopes were somewhat depressed to say the least.

I moved on to Titchwell where shelter was available in the hides.  Almost on cue as I arrived the rain abated and things began to look brighter.  A Chiffchaff in the car park followed very quickly by good views of one of the brightest Firecrests I've seen in a long time. Things were improving !  Remained for the rest of the afternoon, in fact almost to dark. Besides Pintail, Teal, Mallard, Shelduck and Brent Geese,  5Red-crested Pochard males  were welcome. Some rather fine Grey Plover and Black-tailed Godwit were present and at least three Common Snipe provided exceptional views. BHG , Herring Gull and a handful of LBBG were gathered on the islands off the Parrinder Hide but yielded nothing more exciting. Watched the raptor roost forming with several Marsh Harrier and a male and female Hen Harrier arriving to spend the night in the reedbeds. All in all the day had redeemed itself after a questionable beginning.