On finishing a night shift this morning, I decided to stay up, drop Heather & Abigail in Coventry, and then pay an overdue visit to Shustoke Reservoir. My target bird was the drake Scaup but the water also gave me my first Swallows and Sand Martins of the year.
When I arrived at Shustoke, there were no birders to be seen and on scanning the main lake, no Scaup either! I walked the perimeter just as a shower of light drizzle started but this soon cleared leaving a cool and cloudy morning. It was obvious that sailing was about to take place and my hopes for the Scaup were diminishing.
Exploration of the smaller fishing lake enabled a good number of Tufted Ducks to be scanned and amongst them was the drake Scaup - but it was a "dot in the disatnce"!
It was a pleasure to meet MartinY and Kay D in the carpark for the first time "in the flesh"!
Drake Scaup "The dot in the distance!"
Great Crested Grebes
Todays Sightings (Year ticks in red):
Great Crested Grebs; Dabchick; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Mallard; Gadwall; Scaup; Tufted Duck; Buzzard; Kestrel; Pheasant; Moorhen; Coot: Black Headed Gull; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Skylark; Sand Martin; Swallow; Pied Wagtail; Dunnock; Wren; Robin; Blackbird; Song Thrush; Mistle Thrush; Chiffchaff; Goldcrest; Blackcap; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Nuthatch; Starling; Jay; Magpie; Jackdaw; Carrion Crow;Rook; House Sparrow; Chaffinch; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Bullfinch; Reed Bunting.
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Black Headed Gull
The weather forecast was for "wall to wall" sunshine, so with a day off, I decided to head for Titchwell. An early start, leaving at 0300 in clear conditions, motivated me to the prospect of a good days birding. This was dashed at Kettering, when I entered a fog bank, not emerging until I got to Wisbech. All of a sudden the fog was gone and to whoops, I drove along the A149 in darkness with stars shining brightly. Despondency again at Hunstanton - the fog returned and my arrival in an empty carpark at Titchwell at 0530 saw me having a kip for an hour or so. You could say that a herd of Hippo's would not have been seen if they were 100yards away! As daylight broke, the fog remained and I walked towards the beach. I was not in good spirits - why was Norfolk teasing me so? It was not until 1100 that the sun burned the fog away and now my birding could start, resulting in eleven year ticks.
The carpark area produced several pairs of singing Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs with at least three Cettis Warblers on the path to Fen hide. Walking towards the beach my first Brent Geese of the year were soon ticked. It was cold and foggy looking out on a receding tide with only Sanderling, Bar Tailed Godwit, Knot and Oystercatcher being seen. In despair I was about to give up, when, at 1100 the Sun started to break through and within minutes, the sky was blue, the sea was blue and my heart was raised. Scanning the sea soon got me more year ticks. A mixed group of six Red Breasted Mergansers were soon picked up with Common Scoter, a pair of Eider, and two Great Crested Grebes. A separate group of three perceived Common Scoter revealed that two were actually Velvet Scoter! Walking back along the path, sweltering in a rapid change of temperature, revealed the usual wading birds and duck species but one Spotted Redshank, male Red Crested Pochard and two distant Marsh Harriers were all year ticks. The sunshine had, by now, brought out the crowds, so it was time to move on. A full list of species can be seen at the end of this post.
Unfortunately, most of the images on this page are taken in mist!
Black Headed Gull
Black Headed Gull
Pheasant; Robin; Wren; Blackbird; Wood Pigeon; Dunnock; House Sparrow; Chaffinch; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Chiffchaff; Magpie; Song Thrush; Jackdaw; Moorhen; Blackcap; Cettis Warbler; Coot; Goldcrest; Black Headed Gull; Mallard; Greylag Goose; Pochard; Grey Heron; Dabchick; Curlew; Redshank; Wigeon; Skylark; LBB Gull; Brent Goose; Meadow Pipit; Shoveler; Oystercatcher; Little Egret; Tufted Duck; Teal; Avocet; Black Tailed godwit; Knot; Linnet; Sanderling; Cormorant; Ringed Plover; Bar Tailed Godwit; Turnstone; Goldeneye; Reed Bunting; Red Breasted Merganser; Great Crested Grebe; Common Scoter; Eider; Velver Scoter; Shelduck; Spotted Redshank; Ruff; Pintail; Red Crested Pochard; Carrion Crow; Marsh Harrier; Greenfinch; Rook; Red Legged Partridge; Pied Wagtail; Herring Gull; Stock Dove; Buzzard; Kestrel; Mute Swan.
Fulmar (Hunstanton Cliffs); Red Kite (4) Thrapston.
Brown Hare; Muntjac Deer.