Monday, 20 June 2011

Out of County again !

I might have to change the name of this blog at this rate. It's not that I haven't been about locally lately but I just haven't seen anything much to write up about.
Sunday was our latest trip out with  the Bedford RSPB. This time to Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk, primarily to see Swallowtail Butterflies and maybe Norfolk Hawker Dragonflies.But as luck would have it an overcast  and often wet windy day put the mockers on that. In fact I didn't see a single Dragon or Butter Fly all day.
Annoyingly we arrived  on site to be told some Otters had been playing in the top Bay five minutes before we arrived, but we had missed these.
 So it was the good old birds that saved the day.
Many Marsh Harriers were on site and these put on a great show along with 2 or 3 Hobbies, a Sparrowhawk and a distant Buzzard.
Ducks in the shape of Sheld, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Wigeon, Tufted and Teal including several females with young - I haven't seen young Teal before - were observed on the various water bodies and an Egyptian Goose flew through.
Lots of Warblers were around including Reed, Sedge, Willow, Cettis (heard but not seen), Whitethroat, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs and this was probably the reason for at least 2 Cuckoos being around the site.
 Having realised we weren't going have any luck with flying insects we decided to move on to reasonably nearby Winterton Dunes just to see what was around.
 A small but varied list of birds was seen here including Little and Sandwich Terns, Ringed Plovers, a single Gannet, a Cuckoo, Yellowhammer and several Skylarks.
 The weather had turned horrible by then so we decided to call it a day.

Bit cheesed off to find out later, that a nearby Red-footed Falcon had reappeared later on and a Ferruginous Duck had resurfaced at Strumpshaw today.But that seems to be how it's going lately and as I have been known to say 'That's Birding' (Grrrrr !)

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