Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Final day in East Anglia 25th January,2012.

Given the forecast was reasonable we decided to go to Cantley / Buckenham again. Whilst the distance wasn't a problem , the fact we were travelling east when, later, we needed to travel NW required a bit of mental persuasion in us both! We reasoned the opportunity might not arise again , so decided to go for it.

The weather began to improve as we arrived at Cantley and . almost immediately, located a number of groups of geese. White-fronted Geese and Bean Geese were seen well, and relatively close so we carefully began to go through the groups to try and locate the Lesser White-fronted Goose. For a while we had no success and then a single goose appeared to fit the bill, but, typically, it was partially obscured and moved both behind cover and into lower ground. Great...the start of the patience and faith game, both strong qualities in Yorkshiremen!  Eventually it came out and stood , isolated from nearby Bean Geese for a while, and then moving closely with them. It's easy to see why the species can be a real challenge in some conditions and at distance but today proved different and we had good views at leisure of the essential features. And then, as one, all the geese flew off  so we considered our good luck.

On to Ranworth Broad, a site neither of us had ever visited before. I always like exploring new sites and this one proved to be larger than we thought surrounded on several sides by woodland. It's managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, has an interesting boardwalk and is well worth a visit. The Ring-necked Duck wasn't seen but Tufted Duck, Pochard, Teal, a very loud Cetti's Warbler, Bullfinch and a variety of woodland birds were in evidence. From there we explored a couple more similar sites along our return route, but all we recorded was a repetition of species we'd recorded previously which, nonetheless, were welcome.

Eventually we arrived at the RSPB Ouse Washes Reserve in mid afternoon. As ever ducks were in profusion and we enjoyed routinely going through them. A Green Woodpecker and a Stonechat showed well as did at least 3500 Golden Plover that wheeled overhead as they arrived to roost after feeding in nearby Fenland areas. A really great sight! Eventually we located the wintering Temminck's Stint and actually had quite good views of the bird as it fed on one of the small islands below the hide.

And so we returned along the embankment to the car having finally ended what had turned out to be a very successful trip. The journey back to Yorkshire was uneventful and laced with a degree of satisfaction, but also discussions on what lay in front of us for the next three days.

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