Sunday, 26 June 2016

A day to Norfolk


Northants Ringing Group members assisted at a bioblitz project at Linford Lakes near Milton Keynes yesterday (Saturday), catching 49 birds, 40 of which were new. A juvenile Cetti's Warbler was confirmation that this species now breeds on-site but something of a surprise was the capture of a first year female Redstart. Presumably this is a failed breeder already on it's way back south. Other birds included 5 Reed Warblers, 5 Blackcaps, 3 Garden Warblers, a Whitethroat, a Treecreeper, 2 Reed Buntings and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Today (Sunday) and Debbie and Eric Graham were out and about on the Titchmarsh Reserve at Thrapston and located four singing Cetti's Warblers and saw a Peregrine too.

Also today a car-load of us headed to the North Norfolk coast, stopping first at Sandringham where we were treated to at least one Firecrest.

On next to Holme in an effort to see the Great Knot, only to see the complete flock of summering Knot  (which it spends it's time with) lift off and fly rapidly east! A Marsh Harrier and a Turtle Dove were some compensation.

We drove to the RSPB reserve at Titchwell but there was no sign of the GK. Three Ruff included a couple of moulting males, one of which was displaying between bouts of feeding. Up to four Spotted Redshanks were still in summer plumage, three or four first summer Little Gulls were mobile as were three summer plumage Mediterranean Gulls. Some fledged juvenile Marsh Harriers clearly required further practice at food-passing, losing the hard-earned prey on two occasions!

On next to Brancaster where we walked down to view the Knot flock on Scolt Head. Little, Common and Sandwich Terns fished the shallow waters as we scanned the mostly soft greys of the Knot, interspersed with summer plumage 'Red Knot'. And there it was, the super Great Knot, keeping to the edge of the flock and then coming down to feed on the receding tide! After putting the news out we helped other birders on to the bird as they ambled amongst ordinary holiday makers enjoying the classic sandy Norfolk beach.

We finished the birding day back at Titchwell where Bearded Tits showed well, five Spoonbills were in flight, a Bittern boomed and we watched the antics of the volatile breeding Avocets as they tried to force out any other bird from 'their' stretch of mud and shallow water.

Please also see the Tab 'Robin's Wildlife Antics' which includes a recently posted series of shots depicting aggressive interaction between a trio of Great Crested Grebes...


Neil M



Little Tern

Sandwich Tern

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